This analysis intends to highlight the gist of new amendment to the Statistics Act through the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No.1 of 2019 while comparing to the previous LHRC analysis on the Statistics Act. In summary, the new law drives in a good bearing due to progressive introduction of provisions which promote Freedom of Expression in Tanzania through statistics.
In 24th August 2018 LHRC submitted its analysis before the Parliamentary Committee for Constitution and Legal Affairs following changes which were introduced in 2018 through the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act No.3 of 2018. The amendment introduced new definition of the term official statistics and replaced the term statistical information with official statistics.
The overall objectives of the 2018 amendments were;
a. To protect the usage of official statistics without authorization of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), with the underpinned justification of limiting distortion of official statistics.
b. Also, prohibiting dissemination or communication of any kind of statistical information without approval of the Statistician General. This requirement imposed strenuous environment for media and NGOs to conduct research basing on official statistics sources.
c. Consequently, a person or an organization was supposed to seek an authorization from the NBS before conducting survey or disseminating report which analyze official statistics. It is equivalent to conclude that, the process of securing permit of using or disseminating of report which inspects the official statistics was indistinguishable with the procedures of producing official statistics.
It was unequivocally right to say that, the 2018 amendments were in contrary to Article 18 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977, Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966 and general principles stipulated under the African Charter on Statistics of 2009.
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