World concern as Tanzania criminalises information which contradicts official statistics

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By Associated Press

DAR ES SALAAM: The World Bank says it’s “deeply concerned” by new legislation in Tanzania that criminalizes the collection and dissemination of information contradicting official statistics.

Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the 2015 Statistics Act despite opposition from critics who say it will undermine the free flow of information and deter the work of non-governmental groups and others.

The World Bank statement says the amendments “could have serious impacts on the generation and use of official and non-official statistics, which are a vital foundation for the country’s development.”

It urges Tanzanian authorities to “protect openness and transparency” in the use of official data.

President John Magufuli is yet to sign off on the amendments, which criminalize the dissemination of information “which is intended to invalidate, distort or discredit official statistics.”