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Tanzania sacks interior minister over graft allegations

President Magufuli sought to tackle corruption, inefficiency in government since taking office in 2015

Kizito Makoye   | 23.01.2020
Tanzania sacks interior minister over graft allegations

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

Tanzania's president sacked Thursday the country's interior minister after ministry officials signed a controversial contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars with a Romania-based company without the approval of parliament and the Finance Ministry.

Besides former Minister Kangi Lugola, President John Magufuli also sacked the ministry's permanent secretary, Jacob Kingu, and the commissioner for fire and rescue force, Thobias Andengenye, who had personally signed the £408 million ($535 million) contract.

In office since 2015, Magufuli has sought to tackle corruption and inefficiency in the government. He has sacked several senior government officials for graft and cut spending he deemed wasteful.

Speaking during a ribbon-cutting ceremony of apartment blocks in the capital Dar es Salaam, Magufuli said: "I am very surprised to see the minister here, he shouldn't be here at all. I thought he had already submitted his letter of resignation to me?"

This contract had not been allocated in the government budget and was prepared and signed by the commissioner of fire and rescue, the president said.

He said officials who had attended the signing meeting paid themselves a sitting allowance of $800 each, as well as free airplane tickets to Europe.

Government red tape and systemic corruption have plagued the East African nation, slowing down and deterring investment.

In his reaction, Lugola thanked the president, adding that he would now serve his people in the Mwibara constituency.

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