THOUGH the history of freedom goes back to the birth of mass media, as soon as the printing press w as inve nted, it has persisted to grow globally to enlighten the public of w hat is expected from them.
In the light one may be tempted to ask: “ What is meant by freedom of the press? In this case, freedom of the press is the right to circulate opinions in print w ithout censorship by any authority and that is w hat is exactly in Tanzania.
To reinforce that Foreign Affairs and East African C ooperation Minister, P rofessor P alamagamba Kabudi, recently made the same assurance to the international community of Tanzania’s sustained press freedom protection ahead of the World P ress Freedom Day 2019 commemorations.
His school of thought w as ve ry clear that the citizens and the P ress realm, really enjoy freedom of speech, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and that has in turn made the country to be a host of many refugees in the Great Lakes Region.
The minister described the free press as the most effective w ay of strengthening democracy and intensifying protection of human rights, and eq ually all Tanzanians have seen and are seeing the fruits of such press freedom.
Professor Kabudi w as speaking to US Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa and Sudan, Ms Makila Jam es, w here he further said that Tanzania is among few African countries that have a large number of privat ely ow ned media outlets.
What remains is for the media ow ners and practitioners to w ork responsibly by respecting the law and protecting the rights of others, because in any sphere of life, one’s freedom should have a limit and neve r expected to encroach into another’s private life.
“We w ill continue protecting press freedom in the country but at the same time, w e ask our colleagues in the media to respect the law and protect the rights of others,” h e noted.
It is also the w ork of the Media ow ners and practitioners to go about their businesses w ith Tanzania culture in mind, because Tanzania culture appeals for peace, patriotism bearing in mind that no culture is supreme to another, and hence should not be a yardstick to measure against ours.
It is w ise P rofessor Kabudi pointed out that Tanzania w ill neve r allow tribalism and racial segregation, “w hich are critical in building and promoting hatred.”
He added: “A frica has ove r 50 countries, how eve r, each country decides on its issues, therefore there should be no generalisation w hen eval uating and rating Tanzania on different issues.”