This right is guaranteed by Article 18 the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 “that every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression of his ideas has a right to seek ,receive and impart or disseminate information and ideas through any media regardless of national frontiers, has the right to be informed at all times of various events in the country and in the world at large which are of importance to the lives and activities of the people and also of issues of importance to society”. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and allow free flow of information without any interference always are the key to enhance democracy, accountability and respect for human rights. Furthermore The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has recognized freedom of expression as a human right in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 19,provides that, Everyone shall have right to hold opinions without interference and everyone shall have right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers either orally, in writing or in print. And the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa of 2002 stipulates that public bodies hold information not for themselves but as the custodian of the public and everyone has the right to access information without interference.
To clarify the above explanation access to information in Tanzania is still a critical problem and the most affected party of the community is those in rural areas. The majority of people in rural areas do not enjoy the right to information and freedom expression mainly due to the lack of modern information such as media. The right to information and freedom of expression is key to democracy and development because informed the citizens that can hold those in power accountable in whatever they perform for the public interest.
MEDIA INSTITUTE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA