Dar es Salaam — The government has banned Mawio newspaper, a weekly tabloid, from publication for 24 months after it linked former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete with the mineral concentrates dispute.
The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and sports Dr Harrison Mwakyembe imposed the ban which was communicated in a statement released to the media by the Director of Information services Dr Hassan Abbasi on Thursday evening. Dr Abbasi said the ban starts immediately.
Mawio's Wednesday edition carried the photographs of the former Presidents on their front page with a story detailing the two leaders' role in the problems bedeviling the mining sector in Tanzania.
"I have been left with no other option than to use powers conferred to me by the information services Act to impose a ban on Mawio from publication for the next 24 years," read part of the letter from the minister to Mawio editor.
Apart from printing, the newspaper will also not be allowed to run the digital version or on its social platforms.
Mawio was accused of ignoring a government directive on reporting of the former presidents.
On Wednesday President John Magufuli warned the media against linking Mkapa and Kikwete with reports of the dispute with mining giant Acacia. He issued the warning after he held talks with Barrick Gold Chairman Prof John Thornton at the State House on Wednesday.
"Media should stop tarnishing their reputation. They have done a great work in serving this country. We should let them rest," the President said.
Following the President's statement, Dr Mwakyembe issued a statement, emphasizing on the same.