No-nonsense Magufuli fires anti-corruption body chief

President John Magufuli with Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu and Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassimu

President John Magufuli (C) with Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu and Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassimu

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has sacked Edward Hosea, the Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), the country’s corruption watchdog.

Mr. Hosea, who was shown the exit Wednesday is the latest senior government official to be terminated by Tanzania’s new leader.

In the few weeks he has been in office, Magufuli has already expelled Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) Chief, Awadhi Masawe, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) boss Rishedi Bade and Transport Permanent Secretary Shabani Mwinjaka.

More than a dozen other officials have also been forced out by the no-nonsense leader who has waged an all-out war corruption and government spending. All these officials are either behind bars or in the courts of law battling corruption related cases.

A statement from the presidency communication directorate quoting Chief Secretary Ambassador Ombeni Sefue said “the president has terminated Edward Hosea with immediate effect.”

The chief secretary said the director general lost his job because the rampant corruption at the port and revenue authorities had thrived on his watch and he had not taken any action to stop it.

“The president has expressed disappointment with the pace of the body to act on corruption. PCCB has demonstrated contrast with the speed by the president to tackle corruption,” Ambassador Sefue said in a statement.

Magufuli has appointed Hosea’s Deputy Valentino Mlowola, as the agency’s interim director general.
Earlier on Tuesday, the University of Dar es Salaam hosted a public debate to analyse President Magufuli’s speech at opening the 11th parliament.

One participant in public forum Bob Chacha Wangwe rebuked the anti-corruption bureau for failing to timely investigate the alleged disappearance of over 2,400 shipping containers at the Dar es Salaam port. The containers were allegedly cleared without paying taxes.

According to sources, Magufuli keenly followed the debate on Tuesday, after the inefficiencies at the anti-graft bureau were raised, the president sent a private message to the moderator Dr Ayub Rioba that “the matter about PCCB and any other related corruption issues are very critical for the country we will act accordingly.”

Mlowola and Hosea were non-committal when contacted for comment on the story maintaining they had not yet received on official communication from the president’s office.

Despite Hosea’s firing observers and members of the public say the agency needs a complete revamp to ensure it aggressively tackles out-of-control corruption throughout government agencies. The director general had served in the docket for nearly 10 years after being appointed by former leader Jakaya Kikwete in 2006.

Political Analyst Dr Benson Banna said the decision by the president to fire the head of the agency means he had seen some loopholes in the administrative systems.

Meanwhile the president suspended four senior officials in the agency for violating the foreign travel ban.

The officials are Rukia Nikitas, Mary Mosha, Doreen Kapwani and Ekwabi Mujungu. Shortly after Magufuli was elected president, he barred top government officials from travelling abroad instructing them to instead go to the grassroots and acquaint themselves with the people pressing issues and priorities.