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Tanzania’s bloggers face heavy fees for right to post online

Tanzania’s communications regulator has issued a two-week deadline for bloggers to register their platforms under strict new online content rules, amid concerns that the government is cracking down on internet users, Reuters reports.

The regulations passed in March make it mandatory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as Youtube TV channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a licence.

Digital activists said the move was the latest salvo in a crackdown on dissent and free speech by the government of President John Magufuli, who was elected in 2015 and has pledged to speed up economic growth and development.

Applicants are required to provide details of shareholders, share capital, citizenship of owners, staff qualification and training programmes, and a tax clearance certificate.

Bloggers convicted of failure to comply with the new rules could be subject to a fine of at least 5 million shillings ($2,200) or a prison sentence of a minimum 12 months, or both.

Many people sympathizing with Tanzanian bloggers on twitter think this will stifle freedom of speech on the internet ;

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