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» 12.03.2010 - Tanzania, Zambia "too corrupt to trade ivory"
» 17.02.2010 - Tanzania signs loan agreement with Japan
» 22.12.2009 - Kenya to counter Tanzania's Ivory sales proposal
» 30.10.2009 - Last Burundian refugees repatriated
» 26.10.2009 - Natron community vows to protect the lake
» 26.08.2009 - Lake Natron faces renewed threat from soda-ash mining
» 05.08.2009 - Former border agent sentenced on Tanzanian Leopard Tortoises case
» 11.05.2009 - Tanzanian artists join in the theme art work for Europe week

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Tanzanian newspaper faces closure from harsh court decision

afrol News, 14 May - A Tanzanian newspaper is facing a total shut-down following the granting of the court against the paper of a defarmation claim.

The High Court of Tanzania ordered the weekly newspaper "Mwanahalisi", as well as two printing companies to pay a sum of 3 billion Tanzania shilling (about US$2,240,000) to the Igunga Member of Parliament Rostam Aziz for alleged defamatory reports that incriminate him in a corruption scandal, according to the Media Institute of Sourthern Africa (MISA).

The reports that led to the court action are said to have connected Mr Aziz with a company named Richmond, which is currently caught up in a corruption scandal in Tanzania.

"Mwanahalisi" has also been ordered to publish a front-page apology, the institute said.

In February 2008, "Mwanahalisi" published a front-page article entitled "Richmond ya Rostam Aziz- Ikulu", translated as, 'Rostam Aziz's Richmond in State House'.

The article alleged that Rostam was the one who brought Richmond, a USA-based company, to Tanzania. Besides "Mwanahalisi", the others convicted are Printech Ltd and Standard Printers.

However, the "Mwanahalisi" management team is reported to be planning to take the matter to the court of appeal.

The newspaper was shut down by the government in 2008 for allegedly impugning the name of the head of state and his family. MISA also said the the editor of the newspaper, Saed Kubenea, was attacked with acid in January 2008 and almost lost his sight.

"Mwanahalisi" is said to have been at the forefront of exposing corruption in Tanzania, leading to the imprisonment and resignation of senior government officials.

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