Tanzanian President Sacks Six Ministers Over Corruption

 @Gooch700
on May 04 2012 4:26 PM
Tanzania's President Kikwete arrives for celebrations marking 50 years of the country's independence at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam
Tanzania's President Kikwete arrives for celebrations marking 50 years of the country's independence at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam Reuters

The president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete has fired six of his ministers in connection with a probe of corruption by senior government officials.

The six figures who were sacked all held high-profile portfolios: finance, energy, tourism, trade, transport and health.

They were identified as Mustapha Mkulo, minister of finance; William Ngeleja, minister of energy and minerals; Ezekiel Maige, minister of tourism; Omari Nundu, minister of transport; Haji Mponda, minister of health; and Cyril Chami, minister of industry and trade.

The cabinet reshuffle followed a report by the inspector of the government's accounts who uncovered widespread misuse of funds.

BBC noted that the ministry of energy (which supervises the country’s lucrative mining industry) and the ministry of tourism came under particular criticism in the Controller and Auditor General's annual report.

President Kikwete also warned that the junior officials in the aforementioned ministries as well as executives at state-owned companied who might have been involved in corruption could also face the axe.

It is not enough for a minister to take responsibility alone but the new approach is that even those who caused the mishap will be taken to task as well, Kikwete told reporters in the capital, Dar es Salaam.

However, Kikwete’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party promised as long ago as last November to root out corruption and rid the government of dishonest officials.

Last month, opposition parties said they would propose a “no confidence” vote in Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda over his failure or reluctance to stamp out embezzlement and misuse of government funds.

“The president has been responsive ... He has listened to members of parliament and to the voice of the people and has done the needful, “said Benson Bana, head of the University of Dar es Salaam's political research think-tank, REDET, according to Reuters.

“The ministers were sacked due to a lack of accountability. The ministers failed to deliver and some were accused of mismanaging the ministries ... the president has responded positively,” he said.

Kikwete has been in office since December 2005 and will see his second (and final) term as president expire in 2015.

Tanzania, one of the poorest countries of earth, has long been shackled by corruption and exorbitant inflation which currently runs at almost 20 percent annually.

According to the World Bank, 80 percent of the population works in the agriculture sector, while about one-third of Tanzanians live in poverty.

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