The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has issued new guidelines requiring broadcasters to seek permission from the government before airing live events.

TV and radio stations will have to give a 14-day notice before covering live State ceremonies or events. This move has been denounced by critics as meant to tighten the knot around press freedom during this first tenure of President John Pombe Magufuli.

The stations are required to send an email to the TCRA for emergency cases before broadcasting live events. They must indicate the location, the duration of the event, and the type of emergency.

These regulations have come into force during the campaigns for the October 28 elections, in which opposition chief Tundu Lissu, a lawyer, will be running on a Chadema party ticket against President Magufuli of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

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The new regulations were issued a month after the authorities banned all domestic media houses from airing foreign content without approval from the State.

TCRA requires that a local journalist be accompanied by a government official when covering a story with a foreigner.

Critics have accused the president of ruling the country with an iron fist and trying to restrict international media coverage of the October General Election.

But his administration, he has not only targeted media houses but also banned foreign travel for public servants. The President himself has not travelled outside East Africa since he came to power, saying that he saves public money that way. Any emergency trip by government officials should be approved by him or the head of the civil service.

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He has also made it clear that he does not want to see politicians touring the country.

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