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Tanzanian court stops govt from making online content regulations

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Tanzanian High Court on Friday restrained the government from starting to regulate online content, which was to begin on Saturday.

Neville Meena, secretary of the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF), said the court’s decision followed submissions made by six institutions on April 30 asking the court to restrain the government from making online content regulations.

Meena said in the main case the institutions have asked the court to review the regulations on grounds that the minister for information has used powers outside his authority and that the regulations violated principles of natural justice.

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According to him, the institutions are challenging the regulations as they contravened freedom of expression, the rights to be heard and the rights to privacy.

The main case is set for hearing on May 10.

On April 21, the Tanzanian government, through its communications watchdog, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), issued a two-week deadline for all bloggers to register their platforms under tough new online content rules.

The regulations passed in March to enforce the Electronic and Postal Communications Act of 2010 made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums, including Youtube TV channels, to register their services and potentially pay up to 2.1 million shillings for registration and license fees.

The state-owned TCRA said in a statement that all online content providers are required to complete the application process before Saturday.

TCRA officially opened the registration process for blogs, online television stations, online radio and other online forums on April 27.

“Bloggers convicted of failure to comply with the new rules could face a fine of at least five million shillings or a prison sentence of a minimum of 12 months or both,” said the TCRA.

 

President John Magufuli ordered authorities to take legal action against anyone deemed to be “abusing” freedom of expression by posting misleading anti-government statements on social media.

The directive followed alleged misleading statements made by some opposition leaders on findings of the latest report by the Controller and Auditor General, with some figures accusing the government of looting from the 2016/17 budget.

The government has dismissed the allegations.

The number of internet users in Tanzania rose 16 per cent in 2017 to 23 million, with the majority of those using their mobile phone handsets to go online in the nation of around 52 million people.

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Granqvist Penalty Earns Sweden a sweet return.

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Sweden marked their first appearance in the World Cup for 12 years by beating South Korea thanks to a penalty from captain Andreas Granqvist that was awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.

There was a short delay for Kim Min-woo’s foul on Viktor Claesson to be analysed on video and for the referee to point to the spot before Granqvist sent goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way.

Sweden, who join Mexico at the top of Group F on three points, created the better chances in Nizhny Novgorod.

Marcus Berg should have scored midway through the first half but his close range shot was beaten away by Cho, while South Korea did not manage a single shot on target.

In a scrappy game, Cho also saved well from Ola Toivonen’s header following a free-kick.

South Korea, competing in their ninth successive World Cup, were disappointing and the closest they came to scoring was when Koo Ja-cheol headed into the side netting.

The result means Mexico, 1-0 winners over world champions Germany on Sunday, and Sweden have a three-point lead after the first round of matches in Group F.

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Lake Victoria Island in tension as Uganda arrests Kenyan fishermen

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The arrest of 12 Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan security operatives has caused fresh tension in Lake Victoria islands in western Kenya.

In what is seen as retaliation after Kenyan security officials secured the release of their three police officers arrested by Ugandan soldiers last week, fishermen on the Kenyan side of the lake are in fear of a fresh wave of arrests.

Local politicians have reignited the debate on ownership of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, saying they have been raising these issues yet the government has done nothing about it.

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Barely a week after Ugandan authorities abducted three Kenyan police officers and five fishermen from Nambo Beach in Siaya County, they struck again on Saturday, seizing two boats.

Witnesses say the officers’ guns and phones were taken away before the officers were transferred to Namaingo in eastern Uganda by boat.

Siaya County Administration Police Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the incident involved up to eight soldiers on patrol who arrived in a Kenyan boat.

On Saturday, according to an incident reported at Usenge Police Station by Nambo Beach Management Unit chairman Gabriel Onyango at 4pm, two Kenyan boats – one with an engine and the other without – were confiscated by Ugandan soldiers.

According to Mr Crispin Nyaga, Usenge police boss, the soldiers were three, one in uniform and armed. They seized the boats, arrested six fishermen, and took away hundreds of kilogrammes of fish.

The boat without an engine belongs to a Mr Omollo. On board were fishermen Daniel Oyugi, John Liepa and Daniel Odhiambo.

The other boat is owned by Mr Atepe Okinya, and was being used by fishermen Evans Ochieng, Sadam Onyango and Kevin Otieno.

“The authorities took away about 400kgs of fish but released the fishermen,” said Mr Nyaga.

This time round, the Quick Response Team of the Administration Police of Kenya gave hot pursuit and rescued both fishermen and the boats, he said.

He added that the area needs frequent patrol by Kenyan officers to prevent unnecessary arrests by Ugandan soldiers.

A day earlier, six fishermen from Ringiti Island were arrested and released on Saturday after paying some money. The fishermen were arrested on Friday morning near the island while fishing.

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Harare central hospital investigates burning of five-day-old twins

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A pair of five-day-old twins were burnt to death in an open cradle at Harare Central Hospital.

The hospital says it is still carrying out investigations since last week it happened, but negligence is suspected.

The twins were reportedly placed in an isolation ward as they were recovering from jaundice.

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They were placed in an open cradle and a beam of light was used to provide heating.

However, something malfunctioned and the babies were dehydrated and burnt to death.

Their mother, Belinda Balalika found the babies dead when she went to breastfeed them at midnight.

A source who spoke to The Standard said,“ Something malfunctioned and the babies were burnt to death, but what is saddening is the fact that the staff did not check on the babies on time.’

Harare Central Hospital CEO Nyasha Masuka added, “We will be able to give details on Monday when all the investigations have been completed.”

 

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