Tan­za­nian lec­turer charged with in­sult­ing Pres­i­dent Magu­fuli on What­sApp un­der tough cy­ber­crime law

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

A Tan­za­nian lec­turer has been charged with in­sult­ing Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli in a What­sApp mes­sage, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, bring­ing the num­ber of peo­ple charged un­der a tough new cy­ber­crimes law to 10. Magu­fuli, nick­named “the bull­dozer” for push­ing through his poli­cies, has won some praise from Western donors for anti-cor­rup­tion drives and cut­ting waste­ful gov­ern­ment spend­ing since com­ing to power in Novem­ber. But op­po­nents ac­cuse him of be­com­ing in­creas­ingly au­thor­i­tar­ian, un­der­min­ing democ­racy by curb­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and re­strict­ing live tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of par­lia­men­tary ses­sions. In­sult­ing the pres­i­dent was made a crim­i­nal of­fense in Tan­za­nia un­der a cy­ber­crimes law passed last year, pun­ish­able by up to three years in jail, a fine of around $3,000, or both. “The se­nior univer­sity lec­turer was ar­raigned in court yes­ter­day, and I think he was later re­leased on bail,” Julius Mjengi, po­lice chief of the south­west Tan­za­nian town of Iringa told Reuters on the phone. Po­lice said the lec­turer was charged with of­fences un­der Tan­za­nia’s strict cy­ber­crimes law. The lec­turer de­nies the charges.

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