Six months after Mali began its political transition period, the former minister of territorial administration and local communities Ousmane ... Sy discusses why the country needs to radically change its form of governance if it hopes to dig itself out of crisis. At the top of his agenda? Passing institutional reforms, initiating an overhaul of the Constitution and doing a good job of running elections.
President Hassan took over in March when Magufuli died after weeks of speculation about his whereabouts. Magufuli revelled in his image a strongman leader who fought corruption, took on multinationals in the gold sector, crushed the opposition and silenced media outlets critical of the government.
Hassan had not held powerful policy-making positions before becoming president, so there is uncertainty about what direction she will take the country in. Initial signs indicate her administration will be more liberal and open than Magufuli’s; but she has yet to unveil a national roadmap or plans for her first 100 days in office.
But already, she has announced changes that have perked people’s interests.
In a move hailed as a positive future for press freedom in the Swahili-speaking country, President Hassan ordered the information ministry to lift the ban on media outlets that were muzzled for criticising the former government.
The government had shut down several media houses such as Mawio, Mwanahalisi, Tanzania Daima and Mseto for publishing allegedly false information with the goal of harming national security.
Speaking at State House in Dar es Salaam, Hassan said that as long as the media respect the law and guidelines, they would be allowed to operate.
“I am told you revoked licenses of some media outlets, including some online television stations. You should lift the ban but tell them to follow the law and government’s guidelines,” the President told the information ministry.