Tanzanian newspaper suspends staff who mistakenly ran ad mourning new president’s death

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 31 Mar, 2021 14:43 | 2 mins read
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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu. PHOTO/File

Staff of a Tanzania state-run publication were suspended after they mistakenly printed an advert mourning the country's new President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who was recently sworn in to replace the late President John Magufuli.

The advert, sponsored by Tanzania's Mining Corporation (STAMICO) was intended to congratulate President Samia Suluhu, 61, on her emergence as the country's 6th president but instead offered condolences to citizens on her death.

The ad appeared in Monday's edition of the Daily News, a leading English newspaper in Tanzania, and read: "The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) joins fellow Tanzanians in mourning the death of H.E President Samia Suluhu Hassan for being sworn in as the 6th President of the United Republic of Tanzania."

A copy of the erroneous publication circulated on social media.

Officials at Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) the publishers of the Daily News, said it had taken action against three staff for "failing to ensure quality control of adverts."

In a statement issued by Daily News Monday, the newspaper said it "highly regrets" the error.

"We sincerely apologize to H.E President of the United Republic of Tanzania and highly regret for any inconvenience caused by this error. The corrected version and apology will be republished tomorrow March 30, 2021."

SN management announced the suspension of its Acting Head of Advertising, Anitha Shayo and Head of Front Desk and Customer Care, Rajab Juma Mohamed, pending the outcome of an investigation.

The corporation also canceled its contract with Sales Freelancer, Lameck Samson.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against all to be implicated upon completion of the investigation," a statement from TSN Acting Managing Editor, Tuma Abdallah said.

Tanzanian lawyer, Rugemeleza Nshala, told CNN Tuesday that the advertorial blunder was borne out of "incompetence in the country's state-run media."

"The government must ensure that its media houses are run professionally, so we don't keep experiencing this sort of shoddy jobs...embarrassing adverts," Nshala, who heads the Tanganyika Law Society added.

President Samia Suluhu has hit the ground running, sacking the country's port authority boss over corruption allegations and nominated the country's current Minister of Finance and Planning, Philip Mpango, as her vice president.