Tanzanian President Sacks Minister for Attending Parliament Drunk

Fredrick Ngugi May 23, 2016
Embattled Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs in parliament. Photo (www.tanzaniatoday.co.tz)

A few days after his government removed 10,000 ghost workers from its payroll, Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday dismissed the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Charles Kitwanga, for allegedly attending parliament and answering questions while drunk.

A press statement released by Tanzania’s Presidential Press on May 21 said that President Magufuli had nullified Kitwanga’s appointment for gross misconduct. His dismissal comes just days after he presented his ministry’s budget for 2016/2017.

The embattled Minister is reported to have caused a stir in Tanzania’s parliament on Thursday when he arrogantly answered a question concerning police housing in Tanzania.

The question was asked by nominated MP from Chadema madam Suzan Kiwanga on behalf of another nominated MP from Chadema madam Devotha Minja, who sought to know how long the Ministry of Home Affairs would take to build houses for Tanzanian police officers, as well as building police stations.

Here is the exchange between Minister Kitwanga and MP Susan as reported by the Daily Nation:

“Susan: It has been 55 years in Kilombero District but police officers still lack housing while their counterparts in Mlimba State live in Tazara houses. How long should we give you to construct houses for police officers and build police stations?

Kitwanga: How old are you yourself? Do not ask the number of years it will take to construct police houses and police stations. Just believe we will construct them. You are my friend, so I can answer you as such.

Susan: Minister, you are showing off while answering my question (laughter in the chambers).”

The minister is also reported to have caused disturbance in the house after pacing across the floor and sitting on a seating preserved for another minister who was on the floor answering questions from members of parliament.

Minister’s Previous Controversy

It is not the first time minister Charles Kitwanga is finding himself in the limelight. Just recently, members of parliament had put pressure on President Magufuli to sack Mr. Kitwanga for corruption allegations.

Kitwanga is alleged to be a shareholder in Infosys, a company contracted by Lugumi Enterprises, which was awarded a tender by Tanzania’s Ministry of Home Affairs to procure and install finger scanning devices in the police service.

Reports from the office of Tanzania’s Auditor General indicated that Lugumi Enterprises had been paid 90 percent of the contract, amounting to 34 billion Tanzanian shillings, before it completed the project.

Minister Kitwanga, who is also the Member of Parliament for Misingwi, Mwanza, had previously claimed that he is no longer associated with the company.

Less than one year after he was elected president of Tanzania, Magufuli has made far-reaching changes in his government by sending home top government officials and implementing major cost-cutting measures aimed at capping the bloated public wage bill.

Many Tanzanians have labeled him the ‘Bulldozer’ meaning the one who gets things done.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018


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