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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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Ethiopia give credence to women in the new cabinet.

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As at Tuesday morning, Ethiopia’s parliament The House of Peoples Representatives, HPR, was meeting to discuss a range of issues tabled by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

At the core of discussions was to define the power and duties of the executive organ, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.



Also to be discussed is the approval of a new downsized cabinet as agreed by the Council of Ministers last week. The independent Addis Standard portal reported that the new cabinet of twenty will have ten women appointees.

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The newly created Ministry for Peace the protal reports will go to Speaker of the House Muferiat Kamil under whose portfolio will be other federal security agencies.

The defense ministry is also to be handed for the first time in the country’s history to a woman, Aisha Mohammed, till now was Minister of Construction. Dagmawit Mogus, deputy mayor of Addis Ababa heads to Ministry of Transport.

Abiy’s right hand man Workneh Gebeyehu is expected to stay at Foreign Affairs whiles former government communications minister will head to finance as Abiy’s office takes full charge of communications, reports have suggested.

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List of some appointees

1 – Ministry of Trade and Industry: Fetleworq G. Begziabher
2 – Ministry of Agriculture: Amlaku Amsalu
3 – Ministry of Finance: Ahmed Shide
4 – Ministry of Peace: Muferiat Kemal
5 – Ministry of Defence: Aisha Mohammed
6 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Workneh Gebeyehu
7 – Aisha Mohammed: Innovation & Technology Ministry
8 – Adanech Abbeebbee, Minister of Revenue
9 – Dagmawit Mogus: Minister of Transport.

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South Africa: Ex-Mandela cop wins appeal against police minister

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Major General Andre Lincoln, a policeman chosen by then-president Nelson Mandela to head an elite presidential investigative unit, has won an appeal in a civil case against the police minister in the Western Cape High Court.



Lincoln confirmed on Monday that his appeal, which is related to at least 15 years of legal wrangling, had been successful.

It is not yet clear how Lincoln now plans to proceed with the matter.

The judgment found that Lincoln had not proved a malicious prosecution in terms of some of the charges, that of drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident.

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However, it said in terms of the remaining charges, which he was previously charged with in a regional court, his claims against the defendant succeeded with costs.

The Minister of Safety and Security was therefore ordered to pay Lincoln’s costs in the appeal, which included the costs of two counsel.

Lincoln previously claimed that he had been involved in highly sensitive investigations, including a suspected plot by cops to kill Mandela at his 1994 inauguration, which he claimed was “covered up”.

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He had also previously faced 47 criminal charges and was convicted of 17 of these in 2003.

Lincoln then appealed the conviction and was acquitted on all the charges.

He believed that, due to the critical investigations he was busy with, other senior police officers had set him up and had him criminally charged.

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