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Tanzanian government loses US $12.5 million
dollars on payment to phantom civil servants

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania said on Tuesday it has removed 13,369 civil servants from its payroll after discovering that they were either absent, dead or retired from the local authorities following an operation against phantom civil servants.

George Simbachawene, the east African nation’s Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Governments, said the government lost 12.5 million U.S. dollars as salaries paid to the phantom civil servants.

The crackdown on phantom civil servants was launched by President John Magufuli in March 2016 in line with his anti-corruption and austerity measures.

President Magufuli warned that officials who failed to implement his directive to remove names of phantom civil servants from the government payroll would have faced punitive steps.

Tabling 2017/18 budget estimates for his ministry in the National Assembly in the political capital Dodoma, Simbachawene said the government managed to recover 1.35 million U.S. dollars that would have been paid to the phantom civil servants.

“The government will take punitive measures against officials involved in paying salaries to the phantom civil servants,” he told the august House.

Simbachawene said 541 phantom civil servants were found in regional secretariats while 12,828 were in the local governments.

“The government has also sacked, demoted, warned or slashed salaries of 102 civil servants after they were found they were involved in paying the phantom civil servants,” said the minister.

He asked Parliament to approve 3.3 billion U.S. dollars for his ministry’s development and recurrent expenditure for 2017/2018.



Tanzania to review law on anti-corruption watchdog

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania plans to review the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act 2007 so that it accommodates matters of economic sabotage as among corruption offences and allow for nationalization of fraudulently acquired property.

Angella Kairuki, Tanzania’s Minister of State, President’s Office-Public Service Management and Good Governance revealed this on Tuesday in the country’s capital Dodoma, saying the review will be done in the 2017/18 financial year as part of the plan to eradicate corruption in the east African nation.

The minister explained that the anti-graft watchdog will in the same year conduct investigations and control of corruption on the hunting blocks, the administration at the local government as well as uses of the electronic fiscal device (EFDs) in tax collections.

“The government will in the new financial year, streamline the PCCB Act number 11 of 2007 to include some other corruption-related offences that are not currently covered by the law,” Kairuki said.

According to the minister, the authority will also follow up on funds released by the government and other development partners in all areas in the country to ascertain if the projects have the same value for money spent.

The minister also observed that PCCB will in the same year continue with some 409 cases already in court and any others new ones that will be taken to court.

Between June 2016 and March 2017, the anti-graft watchdog completed investigations into 376 files and submitted them to director of the prosecution, seeking approval to arraign the suspects in court.

At least 157 files got the approval, said the minister, adding that some 706 corruption cases were in court, including 227 new ones. During the same period, she said 264 cases were judged whereby in 161 cases, the accused were set free while in 103 cases, the accused were found guilty and were either sentenced to jail or paid fine.


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