Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s Finance Minister Dr Phillip Mpango has told legislators today, April 23 2019 that the government has not blocked publication of the International Monetary Fund’s report on the country’s state of the economy but that the Bretton Woods institution had wanted to release the study without taking into consideration Tanzania’s inputs.
Dr Mpango informed the Parliament that the government and the IMF were currently engaged in consultations with the Washington-based ‘lender of last resort’ to see how Tanzania’s inputs could be accommodated in the final report.
He added that according to procedures the government shared its inputs over economic situation with IMF team from November 26 to December 7 last year when the team visited the country.
“After the executive board of IMF discuss the report, the member country has 14 days to discuss on the report before giving its consent for publication,” said Dr Mpango.
He added that the IMF prepared their report but the government’s inputs were not taken into consideration.
“Our current talks with them are to see how the final report includes our views,” Dr Mpango noted,
Adding that when he was in Washington recently he met Abebe Selassie, the IMF director for Africa Department and told him of Tanzania’s concerns.
“And as I am speaking now consultations are ongoing,” Dr Mpango added.
The Minister spoke in Parliament when reacting to a concern raised by an opposition Member of Parliament, Frank Mwakajoka (Tunduma-Chadema), who questioned the government’s silence over the report.
About five days ago, IMF posted a statement on its website saying, in part, “The authorities [in Tanzania] have not consented to publication of the staff report or the related press release.”
Mr Mwakajoka faulted the government over its failure to consent to publication of the report.
“The government blocked IMF from publishing its report on the country’s economic status, this is infringement of freedom of expression,” lamented Mr Mwakajoka, asking: “What is the government afraid of?”
This prompted the intervention of the government’s Chief Whip, Ms Jenista Mhagama, who stood up and required Mr Mwakajoka to prove his allegations against the government, or take back his words.
“Are we able to block IMF from publishing its report?” quarried Ms Mhagama.