Dar-es-salam (Xinhua) The Government of Tanzania on Tuesday said it had removed 13,369 ghost workers from its payroll after discovering that they were either absent, dead or retired from the local authorities.
The shock discovery followed an operation designed to weed out phantom civil servants.
George Simbachawene, the East African nation’s Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Governments, said the government lost $12.5 million as salaries paid to the phantom civil servants.
The crackdown on phantom civil servants was launched by President John Magufuli in March 2016 in line with his anti-corruption and austerity measures.
President Magufuli warned that officials who failed to implement his directive to remove names of phantom civil servants from the government payroll would face punitive steps.
Tabling 2017/18 budget estimates for his ministry in the National Assembly in the political capital Dodoma, Simbachawene said the government managed to recover 1.35 million dollars that would have been paid to the phantom civil servants.
“The government will take punitive measures against officials involved in paying salaries to the phantom civil servants,” he told the august House.
Simbachawene said 541 phantom civil servants were found in regional secretariats while 12,828 were in the local governments.
“The government has also sacked, demoted, warned or slashed salaries of 102 civil servants after they were found they were involved in paying the phantom civil servants,” said the minister.
He asked Parliament to approve $3.3 billion for his ministry’s development and recurrent expenditure for 2017/2018.