Tanzania: Sacked information minister, held at gunpoint has 'no regrets' about being fired

Nape Nnauye, Tanzania's former information minister
Nape Nnauye, Tanzania's former information minister Wikipedia

Tanzania’s sacked information minister told RFI on Friday that he holds no grudge against President John Magufuli following his dismissal. Nape Nnauye was dismissed from the cabinet on Thursday and replaced with Harrison Mwakyembe. The sacked minister had tried to hold a press conference to discuss his removal, however he was briefly held at gunpoint.


Nnauye said he had “nothing to regret or no grudges with the president” in a telephone interview the day after he was fired by President Magufuli.

Q&A: Nape Nnauye

The former minister, who took office in December 2015, said he did not know why the president sacked him, but agreed with his decision.

“I thanked him for working with him for one year,” said Nnauye, adding that there were many Tanzanians “capable” of being ministers. He said he had no hard feelings for his replacement Harrison Mwakyembe.

“He's a lawyer, journalist, he practised journalism, so he will help the industry. So I just said I wished him all the best and I'll continue to be a good citizen, loyal to my country, loyal to my party, loyal to my constituency,” said Nnauye.

Nnauye reportedly tried to hold a press conference following his dismissal, but was prevented from addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam because a gunman interrupted proceedings.

“It was not something good,” said Nnauye, saying that he was “shocked” to have a gun pointed at him. However, it is not clear whether the gunman was a plain clothes police officer or not.

“He wasn't in uniform anyway - you can't say he was a policeman - but it looked like he was a policeman, but not uniformed,” said Nnauye, explaining that the authorities had begun an investigation.

“I heard the minister of home affairs has given a statement saying they're looking for the guy who did it,” said the sacked minister.

“These incidents should not be allowed to continue to happen to people, especially when freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of press is concerned,” said Nnauye, “you know it paints a bad image”.

Nnauye’s dismissal came a few days after he launched an enquiry into an alleged raid on a private television station by a senior government official on 17 March.

Paul Makonda, Dar es Salaam’s regional commissioner, reportedly stormed into the offices of the Clouds FM Media Group with armed men and demanded the airing of a video discrediting a local pastor.

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