MCT, sports writers body condemn beating of journalist

Friday August 10 2018

Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander

Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa. 

By Deogratius Kamagi @Deogratiuskamagi

Dar es Salaam. The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and Tanzania Sports Writers Association (Taswa) have condemned the severe beating of sports journalist Sillas Mbisebeating of sports journalist Sillas Mbise by police officers.

Mr Mbise, who works for Wapo radio station, was beaten up by police officers on Wednesday August 8 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam shortly after a friendly match between Simba Sports Club and Asante Kotoko of Ghana.

The match was played to mark Simba Day, which is held annually on August 8.

In a joint statement released Friday August 10, MCT and Taswa said beating up the journalist was “inhuman” given that the victim was doing his job.

“Mr Sillas as beaten up as he was proceeding to a press room where journalists always get briefings from coaches and captains after the game,” read the joint statement that was signed by MCT executive secretary Kajubi Mukajanga and Taswa secretary Amri Mhando.

According to them, the beating undermines the role of journalists and threatens press freedom.

The statement noted that those who beat up Mr Mbise had breached  section 18 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of expression,  article 13(6) (e) that prohibits any kind of torturing.

“Journalists should be free from any kind of torturing, disturbance or threats,” read the statement.

Mr Sillas is said to be receiving treatment on injuries incurred during the beating.

Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa said he has ordered for an investigation. 

In a statement, Mr Mambosasa said the police had opened a file based on the video footage that has gone viral on social media.

“The victim is also urged to report the incident at the police station to facilitate the investigation,” said Mr Mambosasa in a statement.