Authorities in Tanzania have arrested Gospel artist Sifa Boniventure Bujune, 25, for allegedly composing a song with incitement connotations.
The musician, who hails from Isyesye Ward, was nabbed by police on September 13, 2023, in Mbeya town. The arrest was occasioned by hie popular song that has since gone viral, ‘’Tanzania inaeleka wapi?’’ (Where is Tanzania heading? ) .
According to Mbeya Police Commander, Benjamin Kuzaga, the song allegedly contains provocative content leveled against the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and was widely shared through social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
The song has since received overwhelming mixed reactions within and outside Tanzania. Bujune’s Lyrics talks on matters that is currently bedeviling the country such as high cost of living, the contentious contract between Tanzania Ports and The DP World Of Dubai, the conflict between the authorities of Ngorongoro Conservancy and the locals, Mainly The Maasai Communities among other pressing issues.
The song also had catchy phrases like ‘mnatuona nyani’ (you perceive us to be monkeys) which is a lyric questioning why Tanzanians are arrested when they demand answers from the government.
However, Since Her apprehension, the police failed to arraign her in court within 24 hours as stipulated in the constitution prompting her lawyers to demand her arraignment or release on cash bail/bond.
According to her lawyer, Philip Mwakilima, the Musician was just expressing her personal commentary.
‘’The singer and her producer are being held illegally. It’s now more than 24 hours and have not been brought to court or given bail’’ Said Mwakilima
‘’All I have asked the police is to release the two. Their mistake is just expressing their opinion through singing, so their opinion should be viewed in the interest of the nation instead of treating them as criminals. it is everyone’s right to express an opinion about their country without breaking the country’s laws and that is what they did’’ He added.
Modester Peter Mwailenge, a family member of those arrested, Says the accusation squarely falls in the docket of Tanzania National Arts Council (BASATA) and not the police.
Below is the Song
The two have today Tuesday 19th September 2023 arraigned in court, 6 days after they were arrested.
This is not the first time a musician is either arrested or his/her song banned in Tanzania, In 2018, Tanzania Communication Authority (TCA) banned popular musician Diamond Platnumz videos of his two songs titled “Waka Waka” and Halleluhya which featured other artists namely Rick Ross and Halleluyah and Morgan Heritage.
TCA said the songs‘did not have the required moral threshold for public consumption’.
The body further listed a total of 15 songs that were to be blacklisted for airplay on any media station in Tanzania.
Other artists affected by the ban were Nay wa Mitego, Snura, Madee, Gigy Money, Barnaba classic, among others.