Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about press freedom and safety in various countries around the world.
In March, Tanzania’s government imposed sweeping new regulations restricting online media, including requiring a license to run a blog that costs $930—more than Tanzania’s GDP per capita in 2016. The new regulations also affect online radio stations, streaming platforms, social media and internet cafes, which will now be required to install surveillance cameras. The clampdown follows other restrictions placed on Tanzania’s media in recent years that have severely limited freedom of expression. In an email interview, Jeff Smith, the executive director of Vanguard Africa, and Vincent Mashinji, secretary general of Tanzania’s main opposition party, CHADEMA, discuss Tanzania’s assault on the media and how the government is “promoting authoritarian rule, rather than the rule of law.”
WPR: What prompted the government to issue new online regulations on bloggers in Tanzania?