What is feared by many across many nations seems to be happening in Tanzania as reports are coming out that the Tanzanian government has allegedly blocked access to the internet. This comes just ahead of the general elections set to take place tomorrow across the whole country.
This new occurrence was brought to our attention by Tanzania citizens who have taken to Twitter to report and complain about this. Reportedly, this was ordered by the incumbent President John Magufuli amid voter rigging claims making rounds in Tanzania.
Many Tanzanians have reported that they cannot access Twitter and WhatsApp. Others have apparently been forced to now use VPNs to access these and other sites.
Never expected we could reach a point of using VPN in our peaceful country…..
— Uncle Paddy (@RealPadrinoJr) October 27, 2020
Apparently the Tanzanian government restricted twitter both in the mainland and Zanzibar ?. Tough times ahead of us!#FreedomOfSpeech
— Kigogo?? (@kigogo2014) October 27, 2020
Many reports from news outlets based in Tanzania are indicating a rise in tension. News had come out prior to this about opposition groups accusing the President manipulating the media ahead of tomorrow’s elections.
Press Freedom Groups Accuse Tanzania of Squeezing Media Ahead of Elections: Reporters say fear and self-censorship has become the norm in Tanzanian media https://t.co/N3nG0ni1du pic.twitter.com/n4NdZYcgTS
— Jackson M'vunganyi (@UpfrontAfrica) October 27, 2020
Nothing is fully confirmed so far so it would be highly recommended to take all this with a pinch of salt.
Social media has over the last few years moved from just being a tool to an essential part of people’s lives all across the globe. So, you can understand many people’s frustrations if this turned out to be absolutely true.
Reportedly, Instagram and Facebook are still working in the country but WhatsApp calls cannot be made at the moment.
These reports could be supported further by recent statements from groups asking the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority to not be involved in any interference in the coming general elections.
Our letter to Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) calling on them for Non-Interference in the General Elections in the United Republic of Tanzania #TanzaniaElectionsWatch #TanzaniaDecides2020 pic.twitter.com/gyugMY1fYH
— Tanzania Elections Watch (@WatchTanzania) October 27, 2020
*This is a developing story and we shall update the article with more information as we get it.