Nine officials of Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) have been fired from their jobs after a discovery that they inflated costs for construction of the bureau offices across the country.
The World Bank recently elevated Tanzania to a middle income economy; however, the current leadership is grappling with tackling endemic corruption which has a devastating effect on the economy.
President John Pombe Magufuli approved construction of offices for the anti-corruption body PCCB across the country.
However while opening the PCCB Dodoma offices, Magufuli cast doubt on the real cost of the facility which is believed to have cost a total of Shs 148million.
“I asked the Prime Minister and said may be it could cost about Shs60million but in my own view this could even cost less than that,” Magufuli said.
A day after Magufuli’s doubts, Brig. Gen. John Mbungo the Director General of PCCB suspended indefinately nine officials who were involved in the procurement and valuation process in the construction of seven buildings distributed across Tanzania.
In 2018, President Magufuli sacked the anti-corruption body’s boss Valentino Mlowola saying the agency had failed to act on corruption charges raised on a hotel project in Musoma.
He had asked the Prime Minister to order PCCB to investigate why contractors had delayed the completion of the hotel but Mlowola had allegedly sat on a report sent to him months earlier without action.
“I spent many hours into the night thinking over the issue…. before arriving at the decision at 5am. I’m disclosing this to alert my appointees that you better resign if you can’t properly serve the people,” Magufuli said two years ago after sacking the former PCCB boss.
“I decided to remove the director General from office and assign him another duty. After considering other issues, i found him unfit for the job,” said Magufuli then.
The President normally suddenly storms construction sites to take stock of progress on state projects has surprised public officials by sacking them on spot whenever they are found in violation of procurement, abuse of office and harassment of citizens.