Another day, another fraud scandal. This time, it’s the Home Affairs Minister of Tanzania, Kangi Lugola in the spotlight. President John Magufuli has given him the boot for the mismanagement of a USD 453 Mn department contract.
Magufuli has proved himself to be a hard-nosed leader, showing no restraint in sending home government officials who work dubiously. He fired Lugola over a signed contract with an unidentified Romanian company, for which the minister did not secure parliamentary approval.
According to the president, Lugola neither involved the Ministry of Finance nor gave the Planning and Parliament a heads-up in what has been labelled a shoddy deal. Emphasizing on the lack of integrity, Magufuli disclosed the details of the transaction in a government event in the country’s 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,” he explained.
Reportedly, the multi-million dollar contract was for the purchase of fighting and rescue equipment. In the same ring, the president has also sacked the Commissioner-General for the Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force, Thomas Andengnye, as a partaker in the deal.
Perhaps sealing his own inevitable fate, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Brigadier Jacob Kingu, has tendered his resignation letter. The president has accepted the resignation.
Magufuli announced the sacking public officials shortly after the inauguration of a housing project for prisons officers in Dar es Salaam. The event was televised live by the national broadcaster, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.
Speaking to reporters at the event, Kangi Lugola said he will continue to support the president irrespective of the turnout. “The president is the one who appointed me into his cabinet,” he said. “Even though it was a milestone for me, he has every right to make changes”.
President Magufuli and Kangi Lugola have history. The minister was a student to Magufuli when he was still a teacher at the Sengerema Secondary School in Mwanza.
This news comes at a time when Africa’s richest woman is in some huge financial fix. Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan ex-president, José Eduardo dos Santos, has been charged with fraud for amassing her USD 2 Bn fortune via illegal means.
Image Courtesy: East African Television