Comedian ‘summoned’ for mocking Tanzania’s leader

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Popular Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan has been ordered to report to a police station in the main city, Dar es Salaam, after posting edited pictures of President John Magufuli on his social media accounts, local media report.

The comedian and one-time winner of Big Brother Africa shared two photos with a face-swap of him and the president.

One picture showed Mr Magufuli’s head atop Sultan’s likeness, complete with braces, arms folded and sleeves rolled up.

The second photo showed the comedian’s face on Mr Magufuli’s body, suited and posed on a presidential chair with the national seal.

Sultan wrote in Swahili: “We swapped roles for a day so that he could enjoy his birthday in peace.”

President Magufuli celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday.

Sultan has more than five million followers across his social media accounts.

Shortly after the posts appeared, an Instagram account thought to belong to Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda posted one of the pictures, with a caption telling Sultan to report to any police station in the city for further instructions.

It added that Sultan “doesn’t know the boundaries of his work”.

Sultan could potentially be charged under controversial cyber-crime legilslation, which makes it illegal to impersonate people using a computer. Many rights activists have criticised the law as infringing on freedom of expression.

Source: BBC News UK

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