Although there is the law that provides for multiparty democracy in Tanzania, the country has been under the control of a single party. Despite the introduction of multipartyism and other constitutional amendments in support of the same, Chama cha Mapinduzi has been in power and therefore has rule the country for a longer period from independence. Several bills have been sponsored in the parliament from the year 2010 which have significantly affected the online freedom of expression by the citizens. Such bill includes the Cybercrimes act of 2015, the Statistics act of 2015, the electronic and postal communication act of 2010, the access to information bill, 2015 as well as the media service bill of 2015 as referenced in (McNeish 2015). From the Observatory (2017) report, the bills have been used by the government to silence journalists and other activists from raising important issues that they feel the government of the day is not carrying out as required.
Mutabahi (2020) pointed out that since the current regime came to power in the year 2015, there have been complaints about the government activities including political oppression, violation of human rights; the majority of the victims of such violations are members of the opposition including the legal experts, human rights activists, media outlets such as radio stations and live broadcast of the parliamentary proceedings. As referenced in Index on Censorship (2017), those who have pointed out or criticized the evils within the government of Tanzania have been treated severely, including opposition leaders such as Tindu Lissu who was severely wounded in the year 2017. Such violations of human rights have built a culture where those who correct the government of the day are seen to be disrespectful. As referenced in Howard and Hussain (2011) the co-founder of the controversial blogging platform, Maxence Melo acknowledged that the culture of intimidating those who are opposed to the government was interfering with the citizen’s ability to express their opinions. Maxence Melo was equally a co-finder of the JamiiForums in 2006, a forum that led to the dissolution of the cabinet in 2008 after the resignation of the then Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa’s (Buchanan 2016); the forums exposed the energy deal corruption scandal and the Richmond scandals which facilitated the historical dissolution.
As captured in NORDICOM (2012), Tanzania has experienced unusual bans on five major newspapers that were believed to be sponsored by the activists. This significantly affected those who rely on print media for daily information on governance. This is contrary to the findings of some studies who despite the bans and restrictions in the print media, still see the importance of online platforms as important channels that spearheads citizens towards speaking for what is right. For instance, Tedesco and Tech (2004) have attributed unrestricted access and ability to raise concerns to the internet services; the internet offers better communication networks more in online forums such as JamiiForums in this case. As opposed to the print media, the online services seem to be offering easy access to the debates or current affairs as users of such platforms can use mobile gadgets such as mobile phones