AFRICANGLOBE – Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday fired a minister for showing up and answering questions in Parliament while drunk.
A two-paragraph press statement issued by the Tanzania’s presidential press on Friday said the president had revoked Home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga’s appointment, a few days after presenting the 2016/17 budget for his ministry.
On Thursday, Kitwanga answered a question from a nominated opposition MP Devotha Minja (Chadema), which was asked on her behalf by another opposition nominated MP Suzan Kiwanga (Chadema).
The back and forth went on as follows:
Suzan: It has been 55 years in Kilombero District but police officers still lack housing while their counterparts in Mlimba State live in Tazara houses. How long should we give you to construct houses for police officers and build police stations?
Kitwanga: How old are you yourself? Do not ask the number of years it will take to construct police houses and police stations. Just believe we will construct them. You are my friend, so I can answer you as such.
Suzan: Minister, you are showing off while answering my question (laughter in the chambers).
Before it was his turn to answer questions, Mr Kitwanga paced across the floor and sat on the chair preserved for ministers forcing another minister who was responding to MPs’ queries to move from her seat.
President Magufuli had recently come under pressure from MPs to take action against the minister who is also involved in another controversy.
Mr Kitwanga is said to have shares in Infosys, a company that was contracted to give expert advice to Lugumi Enterprises which was in 2011 awarded a tender to procure and install finger scanning devices in the police service.
However, the Auditor-General’s 2014/2015 report showed that the company had already been paid almost 90 per cent of the contract, Tsh34billion, yet it had not completed the project that was started in 2011.
The minister has been quoted saying that he is no longer affiliated with the company.
Speaking about the suspension, Shadow Home Affairs minister Godbless Lema said: “I pray to God to accord him perseverance. I believe it is because of drunkenness because if it were about Lugumi, we would have seen action taken earlier.”
The politician is the MP for Misungwi, Mwanza. He has held the position since 2010.
By: Habel Chidawali And Florence Mugarula