A thriving society needs a free press
This newspaper is back after having been banned for a week, and what have we learned? asked The Citizen. For daring to report on the slide of the Tanzanian shilling against the U.S. dollar, our print and web presences were censored by the government as punishment. Our reporters had interviewed bankers and currency traders to source our story, but the government held that official information, such as exchange rates, must come only from the Bank of Tanzania. The suspension order also cited “seditious intent” in our reporting on comments by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who asked the Trump administration to defend civil liberties in Tanzania and push back against “the tide of antidemocratic actions.” All we can say is this: The Citizen has always striven to provide “true, fair, accurate, and balanced reporting.” We believe that only “a well-informed society” can “creatively and actively contribute toward building a dynamic, vibrant economy.” The government of President John Magufuli aims to transform Tanzania from a mostly agricultural to a “semi-industrialized, middle-income economy” by 2025, and we support that goal. To get there, though, “information is key.” The people “need to be informed of government policies.” That’s what we’ll continue to do.