A popular Tanzanian comedian was held by police after sharing face swap photos of himself and the Tanzanian President.
Idris Sultan shared this post on Twitter where he had face swapped with President John Magufuli, Tanzania’s President. His caption in Swahili reads “We swapped roles for a day so that he could enjoy his birthday in peace.”
Kwa siku moja tukabadilishana kazi ili a-enjoy birthday yake kwa amani 😂🙌🏽 pic.twitter.com/Ch10m4GW7i
— Idris Sultan (@IdrisSultan) October 30, 2019
According to the BBC, he turned himself in yesterday evening and he had not yet returned. Apparently when the photos were posted, an Instagram comment, thought to be from the Regional Commissioner for Dar es Salaam told Mr Sultan to report to any police station in the city for further instructions.
Mr Sultan is being held under clause 15 of the 2015 Cybercrimes Act which forbids computer technology to impersonate someone else. If he is convicted, he could face imprisonment of not less than 7 years or a fine of not less than 5 million Tanzanian shillings ($2,170) or both.
This is not the first time we have seen Tanzania arresting high profile individuals when they post things on social media. Diamond Platnumz, a famous Tanzanian singer, was arrested earlier this year for posting “graphic videos” on his social media accounts.
President Magufuli – Idd Sultan’s story reminds us of a similar story we saw in Burundi this year. In May, 3 Burundian schoolgirls were taken into custody after doodling on a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza in their textbooks. This led to people rally behind the girls on social media where they also made doodles on the President’s photos.