Tanzania to criminalize publication of official statistics without authorization

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-11 04:02:36|Editor: yan
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DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania on Monday tabled in Parliament a bill in a move to make it a criminal offense if anyone publishes statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) without authorization.

Adelardus Kilangi, the Attorney General, said any person or institution be it public or private that will publish statistical data contrary to the law will be held responsible and sued as criminal.

"The major aim of the proposed law is to ensure that all the published official statistics are accurate and true," the government's chief legal advisor told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.

Kilangi said the proposed law will provide that any person or organization will be required to seek permission from the Statistician General before embarking to a certain survey or research.

The Statistics Act 2015 defines official statistics as the body of statistical information produced, validated, compiled and disseminated by the NBS, government institutions, and agencies, and qualify to be official statistics if they meet the criteria and standards set by the NBS.

Kilangi said: "The amendment is geared to prohibiting any person from disseminating statistical data to the public with the aim of distorting statistics released by NBS."

Speaking on behalf of the opposition camp in the House, the Shadow Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Ally Saleh, faulted the proposed law saying it was meant to limit the freedom of persons and institutions in disseminating research findings.

According to Saleh, the move was likely to distort the origin data that seemed to be not in favor of the government.

"As per my view, the major objective of conducting researches is to find the lasting solution of a certain problem," he said.

Mohamed Mchengerwa, Chairman of the Standing Parliamentary Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee, said the proposed law was meant to ensure that all disseminated statistical data were released by authorized institutions or individuals.