EACJ to rule on Tanzania media law

Thursday March 28 2019

 

By John Namkwahe @johnteck3 jnamkwahe@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is expected to issue a ruling on Tanzania’s Media Services Act, 2016, today.

The case was filed at the EACJ in 2017 by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) to oppose the legislation, accusing the law suppressing the press freedom.

The Act was tabled and passed in Parliament on February 2, 2016 and later assented to by President John Magufuli on February 13.

Opposing the Act, media industry stakeholders highlighted 18 sections in the Act, saying they were against the East African Community (EAC) Treaty.

They appealed to the court to issue an edict to the Tanzanian government to remove the sections.

The case will be heard for the first time at the EACJ and will be argued by six advocates including popular journalist-cum-lawyer Jenerali Ulimwengu.

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Others are Mr Fulgence Massawe, Mr Jebra Kambole, Mr Francis Stolla, Mr Mpale Mpoki and Mr Donald Deya.

The panel of judges is composed of EACJ Principal Judge Monika Mugenyi, Judge Fakihi Jundu, Faustin Ntezilyayo, Audace Nginye and Charles Nyawelo.

Most media industry stakeholders in the country are impatiently waiting to hear the court ruling.