Tanzania: MPs take on Minister Membe on APRM arrears

By Special Correspondent, Dodoma – Members of Parliament were surprised to learn that the government of Tanzania has failed to pay its annual fees for eight years now to the African Union governance assessment body-the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Speaking during the budget discussions on Monday for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under Minister Bernard Membe which coordinates the APRM process in Tanzania, the shadow opposition Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ezekia Wenje (Nyamagana) said Tanzania has not paid its annual fees of USD 100,000 per annum for eight years now in arrears of USD 800,000.

“The government should tell us if it is committed to governance issues. Despite insufficient budgets allocated for the national APRM office the country is in arrears of US 800,000 to the Continental APRM office.

“While our country is lagging behind countries like Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda have paid their fees and are going well in the governance assessment than this country which had a unique history in African politics,” said MP Wenje.

The opposition camp also demanded the Country report on governance prepared by the APRM Tanzania to be tabled before the National Assembly for discussion.

Responding to the query Minister Membe said the arrears were occasioned by the current arrangement were all annual fee obligations to various continental and regional cooperation were being paid directly from the Treasury.

“We wrote to them outlining this obligation and they have started paid up several other outstanding contributions other than APRM. We have already disbursed for example to the East African Community. We hope in this budget year the APRM arrears will be settled,” promised the Minister.

APRM was launched in 2003 to assess governance among African Union member states with the aim of fostering accelerated development in political and democracy areas, economic management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.