- Bloggers in Tanzania are facing new online regulations that may force most of them operating independently, out of operation
- Bloggers and other content creators in the country are mandated to pay $930 in licence fees per year to be approved by the government
- The regulations affect all individuals and organisation classed as online content creators in the country
With Tanzania’s new online regulations, bloggers and other “online content creators” in Tanzania now have to pay $930 in licence fees per year to be approved by the government.
The government will certify all bloggers and charge them an annual fee before they are allowed to start or continue operating online, The East Africa Monitor reports.
NAIJ.com notes that the government reserve the right to deny or revoke the permits for any site that “causes annoyance, threatens harm or evil, encourages or incites crimes” or deemed to threaten national security.
It was learnt that $930 license fee demanded by the government will force most independent bloggers to cease operation with the gross national income per capita in Tanzania being just $900.
When the regulations were first proposed in 2017, there were criticisms that the law violated individual privacy and freedom of speech.
With the regulations in place, officials can also force administrators to remove any piece of content within 12 hours. Publishers who does not comply could face a minimum of $2,210 in fines or a year in prison.
These regulations are binding on all individuals and organisation classed as online content creators in Tanzania – including online radio stations, podcast publishers, online forums and people using social media as a content publishing platform.
Online content creators need to provide documentation that states the financial details of their organisation, any directors and stakeholders involved, projected revenue and future plans for growth, before they could be given license.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a court in Tanzania sentenced a Tanzanian opposition member of parliament to five months in prison after being found guilty of defaming President John Magufuli.
It was reported that the sentence was passed on Joseph Mbilinyi, popularly known as Sugu, by a magistrate's court in the southwestern town of Mbeya. The lawmaker belongs to the opposition Chadema party.
His co-accused, Emmanuel Masonga, was handed a similar prison sentence. The court found them guilty of committing hate speech against President Magufuli at Mwenge Primary School in Mbeya on December 30, 2017.
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