DODOMA: THE government has insisted that it has no plans to curtail media independence, nor does it plan to limit political freedom, the Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Nape Nnauye has affirmed.
The minister was addressing a media conference in Dodoma on Wednesday when responding to allegations from the opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) Deputy Chairperson, Tundu Lissu that the government had blocked his interview with one of the radio stations during a popular morning talk show.
In various social media reports, the opposition leader charged that he had been prevented from conducting an interview with Wasafi FM due to what he termed as ‘directives from the above’.
However, Mr Nape said that the government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan was upholding media and political freedom, saying that the 4Rs philosophy initiated by the Head of State would continue flourishing even as the country prepares for the next civic polls as well as the 2025 General Election.
The minister said: “We learnt from the mainstream media and other social media outlets that the government had blocked that interview after what was described as directives from the above, however, Mr Lissu confirmed later that there were miscommunications with the said radio station,’’ said Mr Nape adding: “We ask Wasafi FM to go ahead with that interview that was earlier postponed, equally, we ask all media outlets from across the country to provide an equal playing field in the area of politics provided that they abide by the laws governing the fraternity.
Mr Nape further reminded the general public that Dr Samia was well committed to ensuring media and political freedom continues to prevail.
“This is why everyone can remember that when she ascended to power, the Head of State lifted a ban on all media houses that had been stopped from publishing or disseminating any information, and later, she called for a comprehensive review of the legislation and regulations gagging media freedom,’’ he added.
According to Mr Nape, what happened on Wednesday saddened the government based on the fact that it has always been insisting on its robust plans to strengthen democracy, rule of law as well as media freedom.
“Our commitment remains intact and I want to state categorically here that the government has no plans whatsoever to curtail media independence, neither do we have plans to limit political freedom, and, as a minister responsible for matters regarding to information, I hereby, state that any official who will be seen to have gone contrary to the directives will have amounted to blatantly disregarded the directives,’’ noted the minister.