Political Parties Registrar Justice Francis Mutungi

Political Parties Registrar Justice Francis Mutungi

Speaking with editors in Dar es Salaam, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, said media professionals have a greater role to ensure the country does not fall into chaos.

?You need to embrace patriotism and preach peace in this crucial time. This country?s peace and unity depend on you at any cost. Make sure you cover the election in an ethically sound and professionally manner.

?It is only through the media that we can have a transparent and peaceful electoral process.? Judge Mutungi hinted that the media was not only a player in ensuring peaceful and transparent electoral process, but also had a central role in providing a platform for public agenda and shaping perceptions of the election process.

The registrar affirmed that although the media should fully exercise the right of freedom of expression, it should strictly exercise it responsibly following the ethical and normative limits that accompany it.

?There is a thin line between expression and incitement that the media has to diligently walk. We understand the importance of the era of information, but one must consider the ethical obligation as paramount when the beacon of political instability first shines,? he said.

He expressed disapproval of a section of the media that parades inciting statements that are likely to divide the nation. He said that inflammatory remarks will set a bad tone as the country heads for the next general election due on October 25.

Judge Mutungi asserted that the media will not be able to escape any blame if the country falls apart. Thus, whatever is communicated must be well filtered. The registrar requested journalists to be careful with politicians as a number of them are ready to use every means possible to influence the public through the media.

He warned that the election, though it was a democratic exercise to get leaders, should not interfere with the country?s peace and unity. The registrar warned that restoration of lost peace and unity was often difficult, thus Tanzanians should go to the polls united and live as one.

He said that though there were some shortcomings in the laws that guide the election, politicians and the general public should not capitalise on such weakness to disrupt peace.

He cautioned Tanzanians not to allow the electoral process to be dominated by politicians, but instead they should ensure they fully and wisely take part and oppose any attempt aimed at disrupting peace. Judge Mutungi further called on election losers to concede their defeat and join hands with the winners in building the nation.

He remained optimistic that the much-awaited polls will be free and fair, thus Tanzanians should remain calm.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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