Law and Censorship of Artistic Works in Tanzania: The Case of BASATA

  • Leonard Chimanda
Keywords: Artistic Works, BASATA, Censorship, Law, Tanzania


This article provides a critical review of the legality of censorship of artistic works In Tanzania under the auspices of the National Arts Council Act, 1984 (known as Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania (BASATA in Kiswahili). It discusses the nature and extent of the censorship mandate granted to BASATA under the vis-à-vis the diversity of cultural diversities of Tanzania society regarding artistic works. In the process of the exposition, the author highlights the administrative structure and overall functions of BASATA. The artistic works which are under the mandate of BASATA are brought to the fore and a discussion on the available avenues to institute legal proceeding in a court of law against BASATA for those aggrieved by its decisions is made. Recommendations on identified issues for legal reform relating to BASATA’s role in censoring artistic works in light of the social and cultural contexts prevailing in Tanzania are made.


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How to Cite
Chimanda, L. (2018). Law and Censorship of Artistic Works in Tanzania: The Case of BASATA. Sanaa: Journal of African Arts, Media and Cultures, 3(1), 13-26. Retrieved from