Two Kenyan journalists were arrested in Tanzania on Saturday on allegation they flouted immigration rules by carrying out unsanctioned interviews.
Longido District Commissioner, Frank Mwaisumbe, told KNU the two were arrested over the weekend and would be arraigned in either Longido or Arusha court on Monday.
“Yes, it is true our security agents arrested the two journalists who claimed were working for a Radio and TV stations in Kenya. I do not have the full details of where they work for in Kenya, but we will be able to tell you on Monday who they are,” said Mwaisumbe on the telephone.
Mwaisumbe said the laws of Tanzania is “very clear” and anyone found in the country carrying out interviews that have not been sanctioned by the government will be arrested and prosecuted.
The Longido DC said the alleged journalists were found interviewing residents of Namanga on issues of COVID-19 without express authorization of the Tanzanian government.
“We have no ill feelings about foreign journalists but a proper procedure must be followed to avoid any embarrassment. Anyone crossing into our country must have travel documents and valid authority to carry out what he/she wants,” said Mwaisumbe.
Earlier, the Media Council of Kenya had sent out an alert through its official, Victor Bwire, saying it feared some Kenyan journalists had been detained in Tanzania.
Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha told the Star on Sunday he had no clue about any Kenyan arrested in the neighbouring country and promised to investigate.
“You are now informing me. We shall attempt to follow up the matter with the authorities in that country,” said Nkanatha.
No Reported Cases Kenyan Media
Even as Longido DC is claiming the two journalists from Kenya are in police custody, no media station in Kenya has reported their workers have been arrested and detained.
Tanzanian authorities, for some time now, have refused to make public the level of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Authorities in that country have also gone public that they do not trust how their truck drivers are being tested by Kenyan doctors at the border of Namanga.
They are demanding they do their tests and issue Coronavirus health certificates to their drivers, who will then be allowed to cross into Kenya without necessarily being tested again.