UHURU is a Kiswahili-language daily published by Uhuru Publications Limited, a subsidiary of Uhuru Media Group that is owned by Chama Cha Mapinduzi, a merger between Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP).
UHURU gives considerable attention to speeches of CCM leaders and government leaders, majority of them party cadres. Its news stories and editorials are perceived as written from the angle of CCM and its government. It dedicates space to educate and inform the people on the implementation of CCM manifesto, and other major national issues such as government policies, Vision 2025 and other development programmes.
Following the introduction of Arusha Declration, the blue-print for socialism and self- reliance on February 5, 1967 UHURU devoted much of its space exhorting, among other things, the socialist ideology as defined in the Declaration and initiated discussions on subjects relevant to the development of a socialist society. Editor of UHURU, Benjamin Mkapa who later because the fourth President of Tanzania, said in 1967 that the party press “have all the time to do the explaining for the Government,” and “to shake people in key positions out of their colonial attitudes.”
The history of UHURU goes back to 1954 when TANU was formed and launched a newspaper, SAUTI YA TANU (Voice of TANU) to unite the people of Tanzania mainland in their nationalist struggle for independence.The newspaper was edited by the President of TANU, Julius Kambarage Nyerere who after independence became the Founding President and Father of the Nation
On independence day December 9, 1961 the legendary SAUTI YA TANU was replaced by a weekly UHURU (Independence) which below the masthead had a subtitle GAZETI LA TANU (Newspaper of TANU). The objective of UHURU was “to champion the cause of Tanganyika’s freedom and solidarity for all the struggling people of the world.” In its first editorial, the publication confirmed that it belong to TANU when it wrote “Today is a day of great rejoice, it is the birthday of the newspaper UHURU, the newspaper of TANU.” UHURU characterised itself as “the newspaper of the citizen” and educator. “It is a paper which has the task to build the new nation Tanganyika. It is the newspaper of the nation. UHURU is your newspaper.”
UHURU was mostly political in its reports and editorials, and dedicated much space to the liberation struggle of African countries still under colonial rule and domination. The newspaper also had high degree of exhortation and its editor, Joel Mgogo admitted that he devoted 90% of the newspaper space preaching and exhorting. He was quoted to have said “If I don’t do it, who will?” Commenting on the statement John Condon said “If President Nyerere is officially the Teacher (Mwalimu) of the nation, the party press is the Preacher.” Much of the exhortation was a result of the considerable attention given to speeches of politicians from TANU and those in its government. UHURU was therefore not commercial propositions, neither was it intended to be, it existed to give TANU and its government a mouthpiece both within and in the outside world.
On April 17, 1967, TANU launched its English language weekly The Nationalist whose editorial policy was not different from that of UHURUwhich was transformed into a daily in 1964. The Nationalist was also later tranformed into a daily but was merged with The Standard- Tanzania on April 26, 1972 to form Daily News following the nationalisation of the Standard- Tanzania on February 5, 1970. TANU launched MZALENDO (The Patriot) on April 30, 1972 as a Sunday edition of UHURU.
Media Companies / Groups
Uhuru Publications Limited
Uhuru Publication Limited belongs to the ruling party CCM. Information at BRELA requested but not obtained.
Launched on independence day (December 9th 1961), the sucessor of Sauti ya TANU.
Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) - was the principal political party in the struggle for sovereignty in the East African state of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The party was formed from the Tanganyika African Association by Julius Nyerere in July 19
Ernest Sungura - Chief Leader Uhuru Media Group. He founded Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) and has resigned in 2018, when he joined the party.
Kiondo Mshana - journalist working for IPP media outlets. Is in charge of Uhuru as managing editor.
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Audience share based on GeoPoll survey (Aug 30 – Sep 1st, 2018), commissioned by MOM Tanzania. Special interest newspapers such as sport news were excluded of the ownership analysis.
John Condon (2013). Nation Building and Image Building in the Tanzania Press. Journal Of Modern African Studies, Vol 5, pp. 355 -354.
Hadji Konde (1984). Press Freedom in Tanzania. East African Publishing House.
Former Managing Editor, UHURU and MZALENDO (October 2018). Media Ownership Monitor Questionnaire UHURU.