Mwinyi sacks top officials over fraud

14Apr 2021
Correspondent
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Mwinyi sacks top officials over fraud

ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has revoked the appointment of three heads of special units after it emerged that there were ghost workers in their departments who occasioned huge losses of public funds.

ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi.

Those whose appointments had been revoked include the head of department of corrections Ali Abdallah Ali, head of National Service Department (JKU) Col Ali Mtumweni Hamad and the head of the Anti-Smuggling Unit (KMKM) Hassan Mussa Mzee.

In his statement to the media yesterday, Dr Mwinyi said following reports of ghost workers in the departments, he formed a probe team to verify the number of employees and the scales of salaries paid to all units.

He said the report of the probe team said there were 381 people who were being paid salaries without being in   employment.  

Dr Mwinyi said the money was being received for the entire period they were in the units, adding that what came to light was when the probe team started work – as some of the units including JKU started to embark on the processes to formalize the existence of the said workers.

He said at one time some officers were nabbed from a privately owned house clad military uniforms and had their photograph taken to prove that they were officially employed.

Dr Mwinyi said in his statement that it has been found out that over 2.23bn/- was lost for paying ghost workers.

He said the probe team also verified the payment of allowances in the units and found out that in December last year alone the money paid as allowance was 304,135,939/-, equivalent to 1.82bn/- for the period of six months beginning in July last year.

He said the probe team went further and found out that there were workers who had already retired but were still receiving salaries.

He said there were 12 retirees in the Special SMZ units who continued to receive salaries after retiring.

President Mwinyi explained that the situation was caused by senior accounting officers in the Special SMZ units for negligence, intentionally or not, but in the process, he said, the government suffered a loss of 44,610,280/-.

However, Dr Mwinyi said two among the retirees were called by the probe team for interrogation and later they agreed to return the money which is a total of 10,766,560/-, the money which was paid to the government consolidated fund.

He said when an officer is dismissed from government employment his salary had to stop immediately, but the probe team discovered that the accountants of the Special SMZ units and other salary posting officials delay the process deliberately so as to use the money for their own use.

He also said the probe team discovered that in regard to JKU a total of 771 personnel were deducted money for food allowances without staying in camps and the money found it way in the pockets of a few people.

He said 539,700,000/- was misappropriated in this way in the period of ten months beginning in March 2020.

Dr Mwinyi said the probe team did a very good job in uprooting weaknesses in accounting and ordered legal steps taken against all accounting officers involved, some of who, he said had already been suspended.

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