Tanzania’s Magufuli fires home affairs minister over fraud accusations

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TANZANIAN President John Magufuli has fired home affairs minister Kangi Lugola over accusations of fraud and mismanagement of funds worth $453 million involving a fire department contract.

The fire department, which falls under the home affairs ministry, had signed the contract with an unnamed Romanian firm without involving the finance ministry or securing parliamentary approval, Reuters reported.

‘The major issue here is the lack of integrity,’ the president told a government event in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

‘They have signed a memorandum of understanding but within the contract, it has been stipulated that to terminate the contract, all activities that had been implemented will continue to be implemented.’

Lugola accepted the president’s decision, saying he would continue to support Magufuli and his government ‘with due respect.’

The Tanzanian government under Magufuli’s presidency has cracked down heavily on corruption, according to Transparency International.

‘Despite the current anti-corruption campaigns, however, political, petty and grand corruption seem to be endemic in the country,’ said the international corruption watchdog.

‘The regime is becoming increasingly authoritarian, resulting in the suppression of dissent, banning of protests, and a crackdown on media and opposition forces.’

Maguful will stand for re-election for a possible second five-year term this year.

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