Saturday, May 30, 2009

Government plans for a thought police

The government is thinking of clamping down on the budding Tanzania media. In a crude plan to weaken the independent media it has proposed changes in our country’s media policy.

In its draft policy, the Government proposes that media owners should be allowed to operate only one kind of media outlet: print or electronic, and not all of them simultaneously.

So the smart asses in government plan to force those having multi-media systems to sell their other companies and engage in only one. Mind you this has nothing to do with the sharing of profits in the media business. But it has a lot to do with control.

We all know that an idle mind usually ends up being a seat for the devil. You just wonder – where did this come from in 21 century Tanzania? I would have thought that the government should have been urging for more and more people to launch more and more media outlets.

I have been watching this ridiculous charade over the past few weeks and came to the conclusion that the proposed changes are aimed at one person only – IPP boss Reggie Mengi.

They want to weaken him as he has been getting too big for his boots. It bothers them that he has TV, radio and newspapers, which are actually read, his radio listened to and TV watched. So they want to clip his wings and leave Tanzanians with good old ‘His Master’s Voice’.

So government honchos have been sitting in air-conditioned offices, eating and drinking at tax-payers expense – and planning to fix one man! If that’s not it, then I don’t know the meaning of word ‘idlers’.

And –why now? Is it because he has been talking about those economic sharks? Is the government being pressured by the ‘untouchables’ to introduce what amounts to dictatorship in the country?

To the brilliant fellows in government offices, only the government should own TV, which is hardly watched save for Ze Original comedy. Only the government should have radios, which is hardly listened to and only our glorious government should have the newspapers, which are hardly read.

Which means the Tanzanians source of news, views, opinions, education and entertainment will come from the glorious government. They call it ‘public owned’. But we know that they are owned by a few powerful government bureaucrats and used for their own interests.

Those outlets are, mostly run by government-controlled bureaucrats. The ‘Bwana nina watoto!’ types who would never dare rock the boat by allowing different views. This is very sad indeed. They are trying to roll back the country into the 60s. No self-respecting Tanzanian will accept such nonsense.

What is the government doing in the media in the first place? It is known all over the word that governments are very economical with the truth (read: mostly liars). That governments always have something to hide. It is not an untruth that most people distrust their governments.

And now, the government wants to weaken the private media and have the monopoly of the outlets. That will clearly fail. The genie is already out of the bottle and there is no way that the media in Tanzania can be reigned in by some imagined policy dreamed up by some idlers in the ministry of information.

Times have changed guys. You simply can’t crudely gag the media today. They tried that in the once mighty Soviet Union and the underground press, the samizdat, thrived until the country turned into the Russian Federation.

People’s Republic of China tried to tell the Chinese what to read and what to write and what to watch on TV. It failed phenomenally. Dictatorial Burma (Mnyamar) is crudely trying to suppress the media. The reports presently being smuggled out are even better presented than before the clampdown.

I mean, you wonder. Our country has a lot of things to worry about. It is presently being looted and raped from all sides. Our people don’t have safe drinking water. The medicare is abysmal. And now we are hearing of famine in this resource rich country. Isn’t that enough to worry about?

Surely that is more than enough to keep heads in government very busy, instead of hearing some clowning idlers trying to institute a thought police in Tanzania. No right thinking Tanzanian will buy that!


Anonymous said...

I visit your blog regulary and i like your articles.But i keep on wondering, how do you work with the public media and constantly criticise the government yet no one appears to try to silence you? I work with a certain public institutin, i know how it feels like when you go for the wellbeing of majority but against those of few!
Anyways, congratulatulations!

Anonymous said...

Great article!And yes, its down right stupid for the govt to come up with such a proposition.Not every single individual has access to the paper. Thus for media corporations to make use of the web to ensure that what is on the streets is also available online, is an effective way of leveling what people know about whats happening across the country and globe.

Carlos said...

You are the man.Like the what anonymous of June 1,2009 4:09 wrote, "huna watoto." You are a hero man and dare devil. I guess you are a free humanoid, beacause it is written: "amen amen I tell and the truth shall set you free."

kinte said...

Keep it up Luse, you are my hero