Tanzanian journalist’s trial adjourned – for a fourth time


A Tanzanian court adjourned the case of an investigative journalist for the fourth time since he was arraigned more than a month ago, in a case rights groups and Western governments call politically motivated.

Police said he was detained over issues concerning his citizenship, but on August 5 he was charged with leading organised crime, failing to pay taxes and money laundering.

The journalist limped slowly into Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam and told the court: “My leg is numb, I have been experiencing severe pain in the leg, and chest pains.”

A prison doctor examined Kabendera and he is due to have another medical examination, he told the court. His lawyers asked the court to allow him to go for treatment.

Magistrate Augustine Rwizile adjourned the case until September 18 and said he would rule next week on the hospital request after receiving an update on Kabendera’s medical condition.

The journalist is being held at Segerea prison, a maximum security facility on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

Rights groups say press freedom in Tanzania has deteriorated since the 2015 election of President John Magufuli, whose administration suspended newspapers, arrested opposition leaders and restricted political rallies.