Tanzanian president fires drunk minister

Tanzanian president fires drunk minister
Tanzanian president John Magufuli (2nd L) and Zanzibar's newly-elected President Ali Mohamed Shein (2nd R) attend Shein's swearing-in ceremony in Stone Town, Zanzibar, on March 24, 2016.
PHOTO: AFP

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has fired his interior minister for turning up in parliament allegedly the worse for wear for drink, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said Saturday.

"The president has revoked the appointment of Home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga following reports that he was drunk in parliament and failed to respond properly to questions," Majaliwa told state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting corporation (TBC).

"Ministers and other civil servants must always display utmost integrity," Majaliwa said.

The occasion Kitwanga had transgressed was not clear but his demise is in keeping with Magufuli's "bulldozer" reputation.

The head of state has since taking office last October notably scrapped a number of ministerial foreign visits he deemed unnecessary and also cracked down on government entertainment budgets.

Magafuli also annulled last December's annual festivities to mark independence, a traditionally sumptuous affair, saying it would be "shameful" to spend money on a party in the wake of a cholera outbreak which killed dozens.

The no-nonsense Magufuli has also been probing stories of phantom civil servants with a bloated public sector fuelling widespread payroll fraud.

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