Popular Tanzanian singer arrested in latest internet crackdown

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has arrested two musicians, including 1 of the country’s most preferred singers, immediately after they posted movie clips deemed obscene by the authorities, in the most current crackdown on social media consumers.

Tanzania has become more socially conservative because the election of President John Magufuli in late 2015. Previous month, the authorities tightened rules on on-line content, imposing licence fees for bloggers and threatening net consumers with felony costs for posting loathe speech or indecent content.

Award-winning 28-yr outdated singer Nassib Abdul, whose stage title is Diamond Platnumz, was arrested immediately after sharing a movie clip with his 4.5 million followers on Instagram that confirmed him kissing a girl.

“Star musician Diamond was arrested by the law enforcement yesterday and is remaining questioned around the on-line content he posted,” Tanzania Information and facts, Sports and Tradition Minister Harrison Mwakyembe stated in parliament on Tuesday.

Mwakyembe stated a further area musician, 26-yr outdated Faustina Charles, commonly acknowledged as Nandy, was also arrested for posting a movie clip of her and a further musician by way of WhatsApp that the minister stated was “indecent”. He did not elaborate.

Diamond deleted his movie clip immediately after posting it but it has continued to flow into on social media. The movie clip with Nandy also went viral on WhatsApp but it was unclear who experienced at first posted it.

Mwakyembe stated the authorities program to file felony costs against the two musicians.

If convicted, the singers could facial area a great of at least 5 million shillings ($2,200) or a jail sentence of a least of 12 months or each.


“I would like to urge the youth to quit using the net to publish obscene content. The authorities will proceed to safeguard the country’s society for present and long run generations,” Mwakyembe stated, citing a law passed in 2010, the Digital and Postal Communications Act.

Beneath Magufuli, a Christian in a place that also has a sizeable Muslim populace, Tanzanian authorities have vowed to crack down on homosexuality, which is unlawful, and indecent exposure.

Even though regulations governing moral and sexual difficulties have mainly long been in location, their enforcement was pretty relaxed below the more liberal authorities of Magufuli’s predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete, who retired as president in 2015 immediately after a 10-yr rule. 

Magufuli stated last yr it was immoral for younger girls to be sexually active and turned down activists’ phone calls for the authorities to allow for expecting students to show up at state universities.

Activists have accused his authorities of infringing free of charge speech and democracy in its crackdown on net consumers.

The Paris-based Reporters Without the need of Borders stated last 7 days the new on-line content regulations “will kill off Tanzania’s blogosphere”.

The range of net consumers in Tanzania rose 16 p.c in 2017 to 23 million, with the majority of these using their cell mobile phone handsets to go on-line in the country of about 52 million people today.

Previous 7 days, neighbouring Uganda, a further East African country shifting to control net use, declared programs to slap a new tax on social media consumers to improve state revenues.

($1 = 2,266.0000 Tanzanian shillings)

Enhancing by Duncan Miriri and Gareth Jones

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