Kwanza TV owner mulls appealing suspension

Sunday September 29 2019

 

By John Namkwahe @johnteck3 news@thecitizen.co.tz

Dar es Salaam. Kwanza Broadcasting Limited, owners of Kwanza TV, which has been suspended for six months by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) is contemplating taking legal measures over the ban.

A statement issued yesterday by the company said the measures taken against Kwanza TV were ‘unfair.’

However, the TCRA imposed the ban on Kwanza TV and fined other online media outlets: Millard Ayo and Watetezi TV by following the regulations set under the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018.

Meanwhile, the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) has condemned the act done by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Online Content Regulation Committee to suspend and impose fines on online televisions.

This was after the committee on Friday slapped a Sh5 million fine apiece on Millard Ayo and Watetezi Online television for failure to publish their editorial policies and user guidelines.

The committee also suspended Kwanza Tv for six months for publishing the false and misleading information.

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In a statement, signed by its national coordinator Onesmo Olengurumwa, THRDC is concerned with the punishment imposed by the Committee mainly for not considering the financial ability of the Online TVs.

“Those summoned to appear before the committee were not given enough time to respond to the allegations,” reads a part of the statement.

Last year, the Coalition in collaboration with Legal and Human Rights Centre and the Media Council of Tanzania filed a strategic litigation case in the High Court of Tanzania at Mtwara District Registry to challenge the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018.

The case is now at appeal stage before the Court of Appeal of Tanzania.

“While the appeal is still pending before the Court of Appeal and the Regulations are not yet relevant and suitable for Online Content Hosts, we have witnessed the Regulations being implemented at the detriment of the Online Content Hosts,” reads a part of the statement.

Moreover, the Coalition has urged all the online TVs that have been aggrieved by the committee’s decision to appeal before the Fair Competition Tribunal.