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.
Today is a day of warning, where the government, the local government and its authorities haven’t been prepared or cared for it. In its ignorance, the citizens of Turkana and its draught is happening, because their representatives and the state haven’t prepared for the shortfall of food nor water in the region. Even if there was waning signs months ago.
This is not just made up that Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana County, CEO of NDMA James Odur, CS of Ministry of Devolution and ASALs Eugene Wamwalwa and so on. Can put the blame on everything else, but not on the intial inaction of their own government post. Even if that is true, because the FEWS warned about this in August/December 2018, because of lack of rain. Still, the government kept pumping like there was no tomorrow. Did nothing about it or didn’t handle it all. Since, who would make a fuzz anyway, right?
FEWS Network Warning Des. 2018:
“Performance of the October to December short rains was highly mixed across Kenya, leading to below-average crop performance and inadequate replenishment of rangeland resources in rainfall-deficit areas. In many pastoral and southeastern marginal agricultural areas, rainfall was below 85 percent of normal, while rainfall in the rest of the country was above average. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist in most pastoral and marginal agricultural areas through May, and an increase in the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in localized areas of Turkana, Wajir, and Garissa by February” (FEWS Net, 31.12.2018).
Kenyan Government response:
“The National Government has provided total of Kshs. 1,351,196,000 for response during the period of February, March and April 2019 as follows: Food and safety net Kshs. 601,196,000. Support to household irrigation water storage program (excavation of small water pans) Kshs. 600,000,000. Support to water trucking, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes Kshs. 150,000,000. Water trucking by NDMA in Mandera, Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River and maintenance of water points in selected areas. Hunger Safety Net Programme cash transfers by NDMA in Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit” (…) “Nevertheless, the below-average short rains have slightly increased the food insecure population from 655,800 in August 2018 to current number of 1,111,500, with the top 12 counties having a total of 865,300 food insecure people” (Government of Kenya – ‘BRIEF ON CURRENT DROUGHT AND FOOD SECURITY SITUATION IN ASAL COUNTIES, MARCH 2019’ 15.03.2019).
What is sad is the amount of people starving in a midst of draught, in region, where the state could have acted more swiftly and with more manpower. Because, they knew perfectly well that this was happening. This is in a region where Tullow Oil Company plans to drill oil with over 300 oil wells. Meaning, there is money and resources, which should lead to progress and development. So, that the region and county isn’t as impoverish as it is. However, there seems to be little or none of the seeds of the oil to go to needed projects or facilities to help out the locals.
Instead, the international oil companies, which reached an agreement last year in 2018. Have had the ability to drill for oil and the leaders have been pocketing money. While the state and the local county officials haven’t secure the public. That is what is the initial bargain in all of this. The public officials have been busy eating and now the public aren’t even getting bread-crumbs of the spoils. That’s what is even more sad about this situation. Knowing the region had hopes for the oil adventure and now seeing a drought, which brings even more despair.
Lochikar Basin haven’t brought anything to the local community, other than foreign investors pumping out their valuable resources, while the deal between Tullow and Government remains secret. As well, as the scarcity of water and other needed components of life, continue to run rampant in a region, which should have gotten some of the spoils of the wealth that is created there. Instead, the government cartels and public officials, who does not want to associate with the demise of the people in the drought, eat that up.
This could have been avoided, the state could have acted and the Turkana with their Oil should have had the resources to cope with it and be able to buy the needed imports of food and water. Alas, someone else is eating that, as long as the oil trucks are driving to Mombasa and the public see less or little of trade of it all.
While the sun is burning, little or no rain, while they await for a handout, when the government could have footed the bill, by the earnings of the oil alone. Peace.