Tanzania: President Magufuli Fires ‘Drunk’ Minister


Tanzania President John Magufuli has fired a home affairs minister accused of being drunk while attending parliament.

Charles Kitwanga allegedly answered questions in parliament while under the influence of alcohol. Media outlets have since revealed the president and Mr Kitwanga are close friends but the Tanzania President showed little hesitation before dismissing the minister.


Sacking in line with regulations

A statement from the Tanzania’s presidential press announced on Friday the dismissal of Kitwanga. The two-paragraph statement revealed the president had revoked the minister’s appointment and insisted the move was in line with regulations.

The country’s prime minister Kassim Majaliwa later expanded on the presidential statement:

“There are rules and regulations in the public service that prohibit workers from drinking alcohol and getting drunk during working hours. Civil servants must have a clear mind to be able to perform government duties properly,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Magufuli’s decision was applauded by various academics and members of the public as the president displayed his trademark stance against officials’ behaviour.


The ‘bulldozer’ strikes again

Magufuli’s hardline stance against officials in his country’s government is nothing new. The president, affectionately known as the ‘bulldozer,’ has earnt himself a reputation across Africa for his heavy approach against corruption and government malpractice. And, if media reports are correct in saying Magufuli and Majaliwa are close friends, this proves nobody is safe should they fail to fulfil their role.

While many African presidents make a name for themselves by firing ministers, this is the first time Magufuli has done so since taking office in October last year. Further, he’s done so because his alleged friend failed in his duties, not because he opposed him.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, for example, fired a host of ministers who opposed him in 2013. The move sparked a backlash from opposition groups and a civil war that has only ended on paper since.


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