Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
The space for dissent in John Magufuli’s Tanzania is closing rapidly. Amnesty International issued a report this week accusing Magufuli, who was elected president in 2015, of creating a “climate of mounting fear with growing restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”
Magufuli, who earned the popular nickname “the Bulldozer” from his time as minister of public works, was elected promising to reform Tanzania and end corruption. Instead, his administration has steadily trimmed the rights of opposition politicians and members of civil society. Media outlets have been shuttered, and a prominent journalist, Erick Kabendera, has been jailed on charges that appear to be politically motivated; his trial has been delayed repeatedly. In a WPR briefing last year, Robbie Corey-Boulet detailed the ways in which Magufuli has created a more regressive environment for women and girls.