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Tanzania charges gospel musician Sifa Bujune of the hit song ‘Mnatuona Nyani Tu’ with ‘spreading false information’

By Winnie Mabel September 19th, 2023 2 min read

Tanzanian gospel musician Sifa Boniventure Bujune,25, alongside Salome Mwampeta and Hezekiel Millyashi, have now been charged with publication of false information for releasing a government criticizing song, Tanzania tunaelekea wapi (where is Tanzania headed to?). This is a different charge after police earlier arrested them and charged them with promoting an inciteful song which they uploaded online to cause arrest.

The main chorus of the song tells off the government watching Tanzanians suffer and whenever they looked at citizens, they only saw monkeys as the trio sing “mnatuona nyani tu” (you see us as monkeys) after every lament.

“Sifa Boniventure Bujune on the 08th day of September 2023 at Isyesye area within the District and Region of Mbeya, by using a computer to wit, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, did publish false information regarding the Government of teh United Republic of Tanzania by alleging that “kijana mdogo kang’olewa meno na ma askara, hii ni kwa sababu mnatuona nyani tu (a young man had his teeth forcibly removed by the police, because they see us as monkeys) the facts which she knew were false,” read the charge sheet in regards to Ms Bujune published today.

For her co=accused, they were charged with publication of false information contrary to Section 16 of the Cybercrimes Act no 14 of 2015. Mr Millyashi was additionally charged for producing a song “containing false information”

“Singer Sifa and her co-accused have ad the charges of spreading false information read to them! They have denied the charges and bail has been set. We are now in the process of meeting the requirements. Now it is not a charge of incitement as revealed when they were being questioned earlier! Wait until it rains so that you can see where it is leaking!” said Advocate Jebra Kambole, one of the lawyers representing Ms Bujune and her co-accused.

Despite the government being angered by the song, a section of Tanzanians continue to celebrate it for boldly calling out the government and telling the truth like it is.

“Our cries are not being heard, the cost of living is skyrocketing, taxes are stifling us, life has become unbearable,” the artist sings in part while indicating the reason there is no intervention is because the leaders see ordinary citizens as monkeys.

Earlier, Ms Bujune’s family had decried her arrest by the police and being held for four days at Mbeya Central Police Station without being produced in court. They also demanded to know why the police in spite of freedom of speech being guaranteed in the Constitution. The family and Ms Bujune’s fellow musicians who participated in the song also said everything that was sang in the now popular song is all true and there was nothing to hide from the public.

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