Jamii Forum founder speaks out on ‘government shutdown’

Monday June 11 2018

The Founder of Jamii Forum, a whistle blowing

The Founder of Jamii Forum, a whistle blowing forum, Mr Maxence Melo. 

By Esther Karin Mngodo

Dar es Salaam. The Founder of Jamii Forum, a whistle blowing forum, Mr Maxence Melo has revealed the reason behind his organization decision to shut down its site.

Mr Melo said they have decided to shut down the forum because the Eletronic and Postal Communication Regulations doesn’t accommodate service providers.

Speaking to The Citizen in a telephone interview Mr Melo, accused Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), of targeting, whistle blowers forums, when drafting the regulations.

 

The online content regulations requires blog and forums, requirements to register with the  TCRA to ensure that any comments submitted by blog readers, forum users are moderated before they are published. They are also required to identify the source of content.

“We have been targeted because our forum is service provider and not content providers so we have decided to shut down because we don’t’ fit anywhere (in the online content regulations),” said Mr Melo.

 TCRA gave online services providers until yesterday to register with the authority in accordance to the regulations.

Reached for his comment TCRA Acting public relations manager Mr Semu Mwakanjala played down the allegations.

“What we are doing now is registration of online content providers…we haven’t closed any of them,” said Mr Mwakanjala, whne reached by The Citizen sister paper Mwananchi.

Jamii Forum posted on their site saying that because they have not been registered, they could no longer offer services, until the matter was resolved.

“It is obvious that our platform was being targeted when this regulation was formulated," Mr Melo.

In 2016 Jamii Forum founders were taken to court for declining to reveal the identities of some of the participants in their forum. The case is still ongoing.