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Magufuli crackdown on critics sends shockwaves

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli started off as a darling of African people when he took office in 2015 with his drastic cuts on public expenditure but his stance on critics is starting to worry his admirers. The latest incident involved a Tanzanian rapper who was arrested for releasing a song deemed insulting to Magufuli and his government. A line in the song, which has gone viral on social media asks “Is there still freedom of expression?” and talks about a doctor who cannot tolerate criticism. Tanzanian Police said the musician would be questioned for releasing a song that maligns the government. This was days after Magufuli warned the media on the extent of its freedom. In June last year, a 40 year old Tanzanian man was sentenced to three years in jail for insulting Magufuli on Facebook. The Arusha Resident Magistrates Court also ordered him to pay a Sh10m fine. The convict fell victim of a widely condemned cybercrime law that was passed in Tanzania.


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