Tanzanian rapper held for ‘insulting president’

Source:AFP Published: 2017/3/27 18:28:39

A popular Tanzanian rapper said Sunday that he had been arrested over a song allegedly insulting President John Magufuli, seen as increasingly authoritarian and unwilling to brook any dissent.

"It is true I am under arrest. Right now I am being taken to the police station," the artist Emmanuel Elibariki, known by his stage name Nay wa Mitego, wrote on Instagram.

The rapper, known for his political lyrics, and whose videos garner hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, was arrested at a hotel in Morogoro, some 190 kilometers from Dar Es Salaam.

Morogoro police commander Ulrich Matei told local media that Elibariki was being held for "releasing a song with words that malign the government."

Magufuli, whose nickname "Tingatinga" means "bulldozer" in Swahili, swept to power as a no-nonsense, corruption-busting man of the people.

But critics see a wide authoritarian streak at the core of his populism, saying he acts on impulse regardless of due process or political niceties, while being intolerant to dissent.

Since his October election Magufuli has shut down newspapers, banned opposition rallies and used a draconian "cybercrimes" law to jail critics.


Posted in: MUSIC

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