Tanzania, the place where you have to be careful how to be an online personality. How you have to be careful what sort of words you use. When you use them or even whatever you do. Might be used against you. Especially if this concerns President John Pombe Magufuli and his CCM. They are not to be joked around with or talked about in a bad manner. Than your an criminal and meets the authorities. That we have seen all through the tenure of the President and it continues.
This time its the joke on Twitter from comedian Idris Sultan yesterday on the 30th October 2019. When that news hit the authorities, this happen: “Tanzanian actor and comedian Idris Sultan is now facing arrest after he photoshopped Tanzanian head of state’s photos. Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda ordered comedian Idris Sultan to present himself to the nearest police station terming the actor’s acts as disrespect” (Ghetto Radio Kenya, 31.10.2019).
Because of that I have to write about this. Since this is yet another case of the mind-boggling social control, the levels of lack of free speech and even just common expression of one-self in the public sphere on social media. That someone for editing of photos getting into legal jeopardy.
The law he might have breached and has to defend himself for is this one:
“CYBER CRIME ACT S.15. (1) A person shall not, by using a computer system impersonate another person. (2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction, to a fine of not less than five million shillings or three times the value of undue advantage received by that person, whichever is greater, or to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years or to both”.
So, what this means, that face-off’s is illegal. Playing around and fooling around, editing pictures and uploading them is illegal. That means, by this definition the Face-Off movie from 1997 with Nicholas Cage and John Travolta better be illegal too. Because, that is the definition of what Idris Sultan did yesterday on Twitter.
He was doing the switch of faces from the President to himself. So, if the President would have some humour, he would have switched to one of the pictures of Idris Sultan. However, this President is to vein and bloated self-importance to do so. This President cannot stomach critics and see this a criticism, which indirectly an insult of him.
Certainly, the CCM and Magufuli should take some time of their busy scheduling finding things to pin crimes on their citizens and making people felons. Maybe, just watch Face-Off and get a deeper understanding of what impersonation means. It is not like the Comedian stole the President identity and bought all types of books possible on Amazon? Not like he used his voice and played the President fooling some foreign investor in some fraud?
Those would have been some serious impersonation. However, this was just some mere fun on Twitter. Not harming a fly, not really disrespecting the President either. He was even wishing the President a peaceful birthday. For that, he might get into legal trouble and incarcerated for years.
That is Tanzania in 2019. Face-Off is illegal and especially of the President. His the holiness, you cannot comment, talk or address without blessing his name and spirit. The President is above all men and we just have to blessed to live in the life-time. Where people cannot edit, write or even drop statistics, which the President hasn’t anointed. Peace.