SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania on Friday halted debate on the much anticipated
regional statistics bill by members of the East African
Legislative Assembly (EALA).
for EAC Affairs Isabelle Ndahayo announced postponement
of debate on the bill following Tanzania’s request.
Thirteen EALA members from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi,
Rwanda and South Sudan supported the adjournment of the
debate of the crucial legislative document.
Tanzania has asked to be allowed more time for
further consultations on the bill that was aimed at
establishing a regional statistical body.
Through a letter to the clerk of the regional
Assembly on Monday, Tanzania was opposed to certain
provisions in the bill.
It has also rejected amendments proposed by the EALA
Committee on Communications, Trade and Investment
submitted by the EAC Council of Ministers on September
The bill provides for the functions, powers,
governance and its funding with a view to establishing
an institution responsible for statistics to support the
monetary union protocol signed in 2013.
EALA, the legislative organ of the EAC, has been
meeting in Arusha since Sept. 16, with the statistics
bill top on its agenda.
withholds grant for Tanzania over restrictions on
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania
(Xinhua) -- The World Bank
confirmed on Tuesday that it was withholding 50 million
U.S. dollars of grant for Tanzania because the bank was
deeply concerned about restrictions that the government
has placed on freedom of speech concerning statistics.
The grant was intended to support government
statistical activities in Tanzania but latest reports
indicated that this support may have to wait longer.
"We are in discussions with the government of
Tanzania on whether further support to building
sustainable statistical systems is appropriate at this
time," said the bank in a terse statement.
President John Magufuli was expected to sign into law
the new Statistics Act which was passed on Sept. 10 by
Parliament in the capital Dodoma.
The new act seeks to criminalize the collection,
analysis, and dissemination of any data without first
obtaining authorization from the National Bureau of
The World Bank on Monday said it had "shared" its
concerns with the Tanzanian government and was "in
discussions" with officials about the new act.
The new statistics law criminalizes the dissemination
of "any statistical information which is intended to
invalidate, distort or discredit official statistics."
Offenses are punishable by a 6,000-dollars fine or a
three-year prison term.