The Tanzanian government on Sunday suspended a private newspaper for 30 days after it linked a “terrorist” gunman who killed four people to the country’s ruling party.
Police said the assailant who had shot dead three police officers and a private security guard in a rampage in the diplomatic quarter of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam last month had been radicalised through the internet.
But on Friday, the Raia Mwema newspaper linked the gunman — named as Hamza Mohamed — to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Government spokesman Gerson Msigwa said in a statement the paper was suspended for publishing misleading stories and violating the law and journalistic ethics.
“This is a violation of licence conditions and a threat to national security by promoting stories that create hatred among the communities,” he said.
Last month, the government suspended a newspaper owned by CCM for 14 days for publishing a “false” story about Hassan which said she was not considering running for president in elections in 2025.
After Hassan took office in March, there were hopes she would turn the page on the increasingly autocratic rule of her late predecessor John Magufuli, also of the CCM.
But concern about the state of democracy in Tanzania has heightened after the arrest in July of the leader of the main opposition Chadema party, Freeman Mbwowe, who faces trial on charges of terrorism.