Tanzanian authorities have banned popular rapper Emmanuel Elibariki, known as Nay wa Mitego, from performing in the country over his new song that criticises the government.
The rapper was on Wednesday questioned by police for hours in Dar es Salaam and later freed on bail over accusations of incitement, his lawyer, Jebra Kambole, told the BBC on Thursday.
The song Amkeni, Swahili for wake up, is highly critical of the leadership in the country and includes a line that appears to accuse the president of “nurturing thieves” and failing to deliver on her promises.
It also criticises the government’s deal with a company from the United Arab Emirates to develop and run Tanzania’s port operations.
The lawyer told that the artist is facing accusations of incitement by both the country’s arts regulator, Basata, and the police.
“Basata have complaints saying that the song seems to have provocative words, but not only that, they have banned the song and have forbidden him from performing in Tanzania,” Mr Kambole said.
The lawyer said they had explained to the police why the song “is not inciting” saying it speaks about corruption, abuse of power and the port among others.
“The song does not incite people, it’s meant to show the shortcomings of the administration and the goal of the song was to correct people,” he said.
It is not the first time that the artist is in trouble with the authorities – he has been arrested and released several times in the past because of his songs criticising various national issues.