Once again, Michuzi was first with the news. The popular discussion board, jamboforums, has apparently been closed down and two individuals arrested. Read more on KLH News here. According to that report, they have been arrested for libel.
But as ever with jamboforums, separating truth from fiction is not easy. As far as one can tell, KLH News and jamboforums are controlled by the same people, who have just set up a blog on the issue, Wazalendo wa Tanzania. They tell us that those arrested have been accused of hacking government computer systems, insulting government leaders, running porn sites and leaking government secrets. That is a lot to be busy with, especially with the quality of internet connections in Tanzania.
I’ve never been a fan of jamboforums (nor a fan of the related Jambo Blog Network, as I have explained). Anonymous discussion boards have ambiguous agendas. And weighing up anonymous, inflammatory posts is a tiresome pastime, so I hardly ever visit.
A scroll through the comments on Michuzi is not terribly illuminating, but good fun. “Jamboforums is a CHADEMA project!” “It’s all because jamboforums broke the news of attacks on the opposition in Kiteto!”. And my personal favourite: “It’s all Jack Pemba’s fault! He got a court injunction against them in England!”
So, given that two out of three reports come from sites that are likely to be connected to jamboforums, we can but wait for more reliable sources, before we reflect on issues such as the appropriateness of old media legislation for new media, anonymity on the net and freedom of expression.