Tanzania journalist arrested over ‘fake news’

Joseph Gandye, a journalist has been arrested in Tanzania and accused of publishing fake news about alleged police abuse of suspects in custody.

Gandye works for Watetezi TV, a station established in 2018 by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC). THRDC has since issued a statement condemning Gandye’s arrest, saying he was being held at a police station in the main city of Dar es Salaam.

THRDC said the police in Iringa had responded to the report with a warning that “issue false and misleading reports that aim at degrading the Tanzanian police force and the government as a whole” would not be tolerated.  “I have ordered the chief intelligence officer to follow up on people who are misleading and reporting false information.Once they are caught legal action shoud be taken,” THRDC quotes Juma Bwire, the regional police commander of Iringa, as saying.

 A month ago, top investigate journalist Erick Kabendera was also arrested and remains in custody and his treatment has been raised as an issue of concern by the US and UK embassies in Tanzania.

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