Kwanza Online TV to appeal the 11-month suspension

Dar es Salaam. Kwanza Online Tv has said it is intending to appeal the 11-months suspension issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority’s (TCRA) Content Committee, claiming its right to be heard was not adhered to.

On July 6, 2020 TCRA’s Content Committee Vice-Chairperson Joseph Mapunda told journalists that on July 1, 2020 Kwanza online TV on its social media platform published an unbalanced story on the state of Covid-19 in the country.

Mr Mapunda said the content was designed to cause panic and thus affect the country's economy by slowing down various businesses, including posing a threat to tourists.

He added that without taking time to balance its content and considering professional guidelines, Kwanza online TV on the material date posted false information released by the US embassy to its citizens with regard to Covid-19 status in Tanzania.

According to Mr Mapunda, this was against the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2018 under Section 103(1) of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (Cap 306).

However, Kwanza Online TV said in a statement that it was not given enough time to respond to the summons, and “hastily” sent a defense only in writing.

“To be clear our right to be heard was not adhered to as we were given less than 24 hours to respond to the initial summon…We would like to emphasize that Kwanza TV is not guilty of any offense…,” reads part of the statement sent to the public.

“Kwanza broadcasting limited intends to appeal the decision,” the statement reads.