Govt plays at use of national TV by business tycoon THIDAY REPORTER Dar es Salaam IT remains a puzzle why the government recently let a prominent businessman use the state-owned television, TBC, to air personal views about corruption allegations against him. The Deputy Minister for Information, Culture and Sports, Joel Bendera, yesterday dodged questions from journalists seeking official explanation why Rostam Aziz had a special programme to air a personal position on the public-funded television. Instead of explaining the issue, the minister directed journalists to take their queries to the TBC management. The ministry had convened the press conference specifically to put a damper on what has been described as a media war between Aziz, who is also Member of Parliament for Igunga Constituency in Tabora Region, and IPP Limited Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi. Reading a statement on behalf of his minister, George Mkuchika, Bendera accused the two businessmen of misusing their media for personal gains at the expense of national interest. He said the government would no longer tolerate the public dispute between the two being carried in the media. But, when asked about a special programme aired by TBC1 during which Aziz made comments aimed at tarnishing Mengis reputation, Bendera skipped the question at first. After journalists pressured him for an answer, he retorted: You better go and ask them (TBC1). The government described the tiff between Mengi and Rostam as divisive. The deputy minister said members of the public were now divided between those who are pro-Mengi and those who are pro-Rostam. If this trend is to continue unabated , it can lead the country into chaos, he charged. The government directs Rostam Aziz and Reginald Mengi to stop their wrangle through the media and, instead, they should present whatever incriminating evidence they have to the relevant authorities, said the government statement. According to Bendera, the government would no longer allow the two to exchange bitter words publicly. He warned that stern measures would be taken against media houses attempting to divide the nation into groups and thus holding development back. The government has asked the two media owners to use their channels for dissemination of information that helps ordinary Tanzanians in their struggle for development. It also cautioned editors to uphold professionalism and not let themselves be dictated to by media owners. From now onwards the government will not hesitate to take legal measures against media owners operating against professionalism, Bendera underlined. The government stated that the war on corruption and misuse of public resources will be intensified. It called on people with information that could help in the war to provide it to state organs that have been entrusted with the responsibility to fight corruption.