The Tanzanian government has annulled the registration of a total of 473 newspapers and magazines for being inactive for three consecutive years.
Some of the deregistered newspapers and magazines include Alasiri, Dar Leo, Utamu, Raha, Starehe, Daily Times, Financial Times, Wakati, Mkombozi, Jamii Express, Habari za Tanzania, Pata Ukweli.
Others are Mamboleo, Weekly Deals, Mwamko, Tanga Yetu, Mwana Africa, Kilimanjaro Yetu, Kigoma Yetu, Mtazamo, Arusha Raha, Pwani Wiki hii, Habari Njema, Sani Sport, Admedia Magazine and Advertising Africa.
The Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Mr Nape Nnauye, said the newspapers had been deregistered through public notice published in a government gazette dated June 10, 2016, number 195 (Supplement No. 23).
According to him, due to the de-registration, nobody will be allowed to publish or distribute such newspapers and magazines through a hard copy or electronically since it was against the law.
He noted that the ministry reviewed the certificate of oath of the registration of all magazines and newspapers before deciding deregister the 473 newspapers and magazines. Prior to the decision, the government announced its intention to deregister 550 newspapers and magazines after offering an opportunity for owners to come up and defend themselves.
“After the announcement, a total 77 newspapers and magazines showed their commitment to continue publishing and the remaining did not show their commitment. So the ministry decided to deregister 473 newspapers and magazines after losing credibility among their readers and losing recognition at the Registrar of Newspapers,” he explained.
Mr Nnauye explained further that if there was any owner of newspapers who would like to continue with business after the de-registration, the door was open for submitting fresh applications for registration as per existing procedures.
The minister said that according to the figures from the Registrar of Newspapers, which is within the Tanzania Information Services, MAELEZO, Tanzania has a total of 881 legally registered newspapers and magazines.
He said further that despite the deregistration of the newspapers and magazines, yet there are other owners of newspapers and magazines who had failed to publish after getting registration and others are erratically published.
Mr Nnauye pointed out that the registration of all newspapers and magazines in the country were done in accordance with Newspaper Act of 1976.
He called upon all owners of the deregistered newspapers and magazines to ensure that they were not breaching the laws by starting their business without following the laid down procedures. The government has also congratulated all owners of newspapers who had been observing rules and regulations in conducting their activities.