President Joseph Pombe Magufuli isn’t the sort of guy, that handles critics or opposition well. He is the sort of guy that needs all praise and benefits of a doubt. Therefore, the latest move is in a long line of questionable behaviour from his party, his apparatus and his administration to stifle voices of another opinion.
The Tanzanian government under Magufuli is a paranoid and wavy state. Where everything hangs by a thread, if your in the good graces of the President or not. If your not or if you questions him. He will take your license, suspend your newspaper or even detain you for a various reasons. That is the state of affairs. So, that the President and his people have blocked an unfavourable report from the International Monetary Fund isn’t surprising, it is more of the same.
This is from the same man, that has arrested MPs for speaking ill of him. This is from the same man, that didn’t like articles written the The Citizen to later suspend that too. Therefore, when someone dares to question his ways and orders, he will strike with fury. That is the man, the governs and leads the Republic.
Here is some pieces of information, that might be the reason why the Article IV Report of the IMF was blocked from publishing. With the Press Release of the block from IMF, before a Stratfor explanation and projections of the World Bank.
IMF Press Release:
“On March 18, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund concluded the consideration of the 2019 Article IV Consultation with the United Republic of Tanzania” (…) “The authorities have not consented to publication of the staff report or the related press release” (IMF – ‘Statement on the 2019 Article IV Consultation with the United Republic of Tanzania Staff Report’ 17.04.2019).
“What Happened: An apparently leaked report by the International Monetary Fund contains criticism of the Tanzanian government’s interventionist economic policies and noted that they are hurting the country’s investment climate, Bloomberg reported April 18. The Tanzanian government subsequently decided to block the report’s release. Why It Matters: The report will likely serve as an alarming sign for international investors who already have been concerned that the Tanzanian government is targeting foreign multinational companies” (Stratfor – ‘Tanzania: IMF Report Criticizes Government Measures’ 19.04.2019).
World Bank Context:
“Economic performance in 2018 was mixed, while inflation remains low and stable. The National Bureau of Statistics did not release any quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2018, pending completion of a rebasing exercise. However, available data suggest signs of softening of the growth momentum” (World Bank in Tanzania – Context, 01.04.2019).
We can clearly see why the President didn’t want this to get released, also that his administration would further hit their goals, when concerning their economic forecast. This is damaging the image and also the confidence in the financial system. The IMF would have told a story that the administration didn’t want to hear or listen too.
That is why it hasn’t been released, because the President who wants all positive and praise. Cannot manage an independent entity from the outside coming with a message or projection, which isn’t fitting the narrative of the CCM. At this point, that is the message I get out of it.
Magufuli and the Tanzanian Administration could have turned the projections and the forecast. They have the ability to create stability and trust in the financial system. However, they are instead stonewalling and continuing on this path. They are not creating confidence of the acts of the government from the outside. It is backfiring instead, but this is from the administration that has to verify and give a stamp of approval to release statistics.
Therefore, we know how far this administration goes. Now, they are even stopping Article IV Report from being released. That is a sign of weakness in the economy. Peace.