RSF concerned about reporter missing in Tanzania

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Tanzanian police to speed up their investigation into the disappearance of Azori Gwanda, a newspaper reporter who went missing in the eastern Pwani region two weeks ago.

Gwanda is a correspondent of Tanzania’s leading Swahili-language newspaper, Mwananchi, and its English-language version, The Citizen, which are published by the Nation Media Group.

In a statement issued by the publisher, his wife said that she last saw him on 21 November in a white Toyota Land Cruiser with two men, and that he seemed very frightened. Since then, no one has answered any of his three telephones.

In recent months, Gwanda had been investigating a series of mysterious murders of policemen and local officials by men on motorcycles in the Pwani region, which lies just to the east of the Dar es Salaam region

“We join the Nation Media Group in calling on the police to step up the investigation and do everything possible to locate this journalist,” RSF said. “The conditions in which the media operate in Tanzania have worsened, partly because of the government’s behaviour, and ensuring that this kind of attack does not go unpunished is essential to avoid undermining journalism as whole.”

The climate for the media has declined in Tanzania since John Magufuli became president in 2015 and began adopting very critical positions towards the media. Tanzania is ranked 71st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Published on
Updated on 07.12.2017