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France Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms. Malika Berak has shared views on a number of issues including Tanzania’s media landscape and the forthcoming general election with the Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) Kajubi Mukajanga.

Ambassador Berak who was accompanied by the Deputy Head of the Embassy, Claude Blevin held discussions with Mukajanga when she paid courtesy call on the MCT Executive Secretary in his office on October 7, 2015.

Briefing the Ambassador on developments on the October 25, General Elections, Mukajanga said it was closely contested.

He said that the media need to be careful on what to write as were are approaching the election day.

He said some media organisations have taken sides which is not bad. However, he said, the problem comes when media outlets start to portray rival candidates negatively.

“There is no sin for any media or a journalist to support a candidate of his/her choice, or even a political party, but it has to be fair and should not tell lies about the other candidate (s),” Kajubi insisted.

He also stressed the need for National Electoral Commission and Zanzibar Electoral Commission not to make mistakes such as delay in opening the polling stations, failure to distribute election materials on time. Avoiding such mistakes will avert chaos in the election, he said.

Speaking on the media laws, Kajubi said that, MCT in collaborations with its partners fought to make sure that the two bills -Access to Information and Media Services Bills were not enacted because they lacked views of media stakeholders.

He expressed optimism that the next government would accommodate the stakeholders views before enacting the two bills into law.

Ambassador Berak hailed the significant contribution of the Council in making the country’s media responsible, effective and of high quality.

The envoy, who has been in the country for one year, said that France needs to develop relationship with MCT so that, the two could work together on issues related to media.

She also said her embassy was planning to have a debate on media issues in November this year, which will involve journalists from France, and she would love to see the Council participate to share its vast experience in the media.

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