President John Magufuli has sent shivers down the spines of the political elites in Tanzania after he fired one of his closest allies, Home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga, for responding to official questions under the influence of alcohol.
The State House said in a statement that Kitwanga was sacked after he:
“Turned up at the parliament drunk and responded to a question directed to the Ministry of Home Affairs while being in a drunken state”.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who made the announcement said:
“Ministers and other civil servants must always display utmost integrity.”
Charles Kitwanga is the first person to be sacked since the cabinet was inaugurated. President Magufuli, who has gained a reputation as a no-nonsense man since assuming office in October, cancelled last December’s annual merriment and official festivities, an occasion that has become customary to Tanzanians, saying it would be “shameful” to spend that much money in the wake of a cholera outbreak which killed hundreds.
He also scrapped a number of ministerial foreign visits he deemed unnecessary and frivolous, as well as cracked down on the government’s bogus entertainment budget.
President John Magufuli has promised to tackle corruption and inefficiency in government. He has sacked several senior officials for graft and has also cut spending he deemed wasteful, such as scrapping official Christmas cards. Magufuli has also been probing stories of ghost worker in the civil service, with a bloated public sector fueling widespread payroll fraud.
Government bureaucracy, nepotism and official corruption have often been blamed by businesses for slowing down or deterring investment in the poor African nation, which recently discovered offshore gas reserves that it is seeking to develop.