Tanzania Purges 10,000 ‘Ghost Workers’ from Payroll

Tanzania Purges 10,000 ‘Ghost Workers’ from Payroll

BBC NEWS AT BBC.CO.UK/NEWS

Tanzania has removed more than 10,000 “ghost workers” from its public sector payroll in a crackdown on corruption.

Payments to the nonexistent employees cost the government more than $2 million a month, according to the prime minister’s office. Authorities say they still are auditing the public payroll and expect to find more phantom workers.

President John Magufuli, who was elected in October 2015, promised to cut wasteful public expenditures. He ordered the audit in March 2016 and said the money saved would be put toward development.

Nicknamed the bulldozer, Magufuli has announced a range of cost-cutting measures since assuming office, including canceling official celebrations for independence day.

Tanzania spends more than $260 million a month paying the salaries of its estimated 550,000 public workers, Reuters reported.

“We intend to have workers in government who are honest, accountable and hardworking. This is our priority, and it is a nonstop initiative,” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told The Guardian in London.

Many countries across the continent have been affected by the scam of so-called ghost workers.

In February 2016, the Nigerian government removed 24,000 workers from its payroll after an audit revealed they did not exist. In September 2014, Kenya began biometrically registering all civil servants after unearthing 12,000 similar cases.

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