Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TEF frowns upon the Information minister’s budget speech,

THE Secretary General of Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) Neville Meena has expressed his disappointment over the budget speech of the Minister for Information, Youth, culture and Sports which was tabled yesterday in Parliament saying that, the Minister did not mention problems faced b y journalists in executing their jobs in the country. He said the budget has skipped to analyze important matters as what had happened to the TEF Chairman Absalom Kibanda and the fallen TV crew for Channel ten station David Mwangosi together with others whose fate has sparked a debate in previous parliamentary sessions. The TEF Boss made a concern in an exclusive interview with The Guardian yesterday in Parliament a moment after the Minister’s budget was tabled for discussion before the parliamentarians.  Later the Speaker of the National Assembly, Anne Makinda   stopped the sessions till later in the afternoon as in accordance to the house directives following some contravention of the laws governing house procedures.  He lamented that, apart from the issue of the two media practitioners whose fate is still a subject of debate among Tanzanians, he noted that, the budget hasn’t highlighted the challenges faced by Tanzanian journalists and the media fraternity in general. According to him, he wanted the minister should have stated the development of the two high ranking media personnel in its budget as an expression with a word of sympathy noting that was a major challenge that the media fraternity in the country experienced for the last one year, but there is no such statement in the budget. To the great dismay, he is surprised to see that, the minister in charge of the ministry Dr. Fenella Mukangara has highlighted other challenges which are not more severe and a threat in normal circumstances to the development of the media sector in the country. He further noted that, the budget has not also quoted any private media organization in the country and their  participation in the countrywide information dissemination, nor the way forward on how to develop the media sector in the country for the coming 2013/14 financial year. The TEF boss and other media stakeholders are surprised to have seen the minister’s budget speech has only focused the welfare of the National Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and the ministry’s plans to develop the whole national broadcasting corporation through various loans by donors outside. It is as if Tanzania media industry is run by government and there is no private sectors, he queried. Quoting the main challenges in the minister’s speech, she noted that, her ministry through the information sector was faced by various challenges in the previous financial year of 2012/13 and among these are the violations of ethical rules by some registered media organizations in the country. She said that, some electronic media stations had violated ethical rules on broadcasting which the country are contrary to the policy of broadcasting and the regulations governing the legal policies set by the Broadcasting Act She also noted in her budget speech that, in 26th February this year, the ethical committee of her ministry suspended two radio stations namely Neema FM of Mwanza and Imaam FM of Morogoro for six months after having found them guilty despite of several warnings. Other challenges she mentioned in her budget is lack of study opportunities to higher learning institutions in the country and poor working environment to media workers. Either together with other impeding challenges it still performing its duties as usual.

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