Dodomba –Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked several port bosses and top transport officials, in the latest crackdown on corruption in the east African country, Capital News reports.
The latest move in a swathe of austerity cuts on public corruption, has seen Magufuli dissolve the board of directors of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) as well as revoke the appointment of Shabaan Mwinjaka, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport.
In a statement released by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the reasons for Magufuli’s drastic measures were described as a move to address the failure of the TPA to rehabilitate administrative flaws within the organisation.
Following the revelation, Majaliwa also announced the suspension of four senior officers within the TPA as well as eight middle level officers. The arrest of all twelve former employees has been directed in order to recover billions of funds lost through tax evasion.
According to a report by the Daily Monitor, it was earlier found that several thousand containers had been cleared through the port without paying tax, resulting in TShs80 billion being lost. Eight suspects have since appeared in court on the matter.
President Magufuli revealed last week that businessmen who had evaded tax have a seven day grace period in which to pay up before they face arrest and court charges. As of last week Friday, however, records from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) showed that TShs6 billion in lost revenues had been collected.
Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) is also under the spotlight, after an impromptu visit from the prime minister revealed that TShs13 billion had been misused by the organisation.
According to the BBC News, Magufuli has been nicknamed “The Bulldozer” due to his no-nonsense approach. Since taking up office in October, the results-driven politician has banned unnecessary foreign travel by government officials and replaced Independence Day celebrations with a clean-up operation, all aimed at cutting costs in the cash-strapped nation.