11 July 2019

Tanzania's Foreign Minister Prof Kabudi Clarifies Azory Gwanda BBC Interview Comments

Photo: The Citizen
Missing Mwananchi Communications Limited freelancer Azory Gwanda.

Tanzania's foreign minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi has clarified comments he made about missing journalist Azory Gwanda, which have sparked a social media backlash.

This comes in the wake of an interview he held on the BBC's Focus on Africa while in London where he commented on the disappearance of freelance journalist Gwanda.

In a statement, the minister says he was quoted out of context.

"Unfortunately, some social media reports have misinterpreted my comments to mean that I purportedly confirmed that the missing Tanzanian journalist Azory Gwanda is dead," reads the statement.

He continues: "In that interview I said, the Kibiti incident was one of the painful experiences that Tanzania went through, a number of people disappeared and others died."

Prof Kabudi says the reference he made to the Azory Gwanda case did not mean that the journalist is confirmed dead.

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"To date the Government of Tanzania has no confirmation on whether Azory is dead or alive. Security organs are still investigating the matter as well as the fate of other Tanzanians who either went missing or were killed during the insecurity in Kibiti, Pwani Region," he writes.

Prof Kabudi says the government's position remains the same and that is what he reiterated during his interview with the BBC while in London.

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