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
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.
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 Statistics (NBS).
The World Bank on
Monday said it had “shared” its concerns with the Tanzanian
government and was “in discussions” with officials about the new
The new statistics
law criminalizes the dissemination of “any statistical
information which is intended to invalidate, distort or
discredit official statistics.”
punishable by a 6,000-dollars fine or a three-year prison term.