4 April 2019

Tanzania - Speaker's Order Undermines Media Freedom Says Mct

Dar es Salaam — The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) on Thursday, April 4, said the decision by the Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai to bar journalists from interviewing MPs, who walked out of the debate chamber was an infringement of media freedom.

In a statement MCT said that they had received the news that Speaker Ndugai stopped journalists, who are reporting from Parliament proceedings, from interviewing MPs from opposition, who walked out of the debating chamber, within the Bunge premises.

"We (MCT)l have received this information with disappointments, the decision (speaker's) undermines freedom of media and journalists," read part of the statement

On Thursday during the parliament session, Speaker Ndugai told journalists that they are not allowed to interview opposition MPs who walked out of the House while still on the parliamentary grounds.

He told journalists who ever would be found conducting such interview on the parliamentary grounds would lose their accreditation and would not be allowed to report from Parliament again.

The MPs walk out when the Ethics committee was presenting its report which as result led to the suspension of Arusha MP Godbless Lema for three meetings.

The Chadema MP was found guilty for his 'weak Bunge' remarks' which he uttered in support of Kawe Member of Parliament, Ms Halima Mdee (Chadema) after she was suspended by parliament over similar remarks.

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