Tanzania’s Magufuli, the President who has been nicknamed the bulldozer by the media and citizens for his strict, no-nonsense style of governance has struck again.
After an earthquake struck the northern Kagera region of the country leading to the death of at least 16 people with 200 additional people wounded, the country had rallied to raise funds for the earthquake victims. Today, it turns out that Tanzania’s Magufuli has sacked two senior officials for opening a fake account to siphon money from an earthquake fund.
His office shared the news in a statement which also added that along with the sack of the two senior officials, an accountant had been suspended for being part of the plan to take money collected for earthquake victims.
In raising money for the earthquake fund, foreign governments had chipped in, donating money for Tanzania’s use. Tanzania’s privately owned Citizen newspaper reports that on Tuesday the government of India donated 545m Tanzanian shillings ($250,000; £190,000) towards the fund.
The statement reveals that the two senior officials who have been dismissed by Tanzania’s Magufuli had allegedly opened a bank account which “bears the same name as the one opened by the government,”. It then goes on to state that the two along with the suspended accountant had in mind to “use the account to collect money for their benefit while it was meant to help the victims”.
Local media reports the identity of the sacked officials as; Amantius Msole (Kagera’s regional administrative secretary) and Steven Makonda (Bukoba city municipal council director). The suspended accountant is Simbaufoo Swai. The three are, however, yet to comment on the allegations.
East Africa’s Great Rift Valley runs along a geological fault line but major earthquakes there are rare. In July 2007, a magnitude six quake struck the Tanzanian town of Arusha, east of Bukoba and the recent earthquake that occurred September 10 was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake. Along with the lives that were lost, the quake caused significant damage to buildings in Bukoba.