Civil service audit reveals 2,500 'ghost' workers

Minister of State in the President's Office (Local Governments and Regional Administration), George Simbachawene

Mwanza, Arusha and Singida are the regions with the highest number of government ‘ghost’ workers, according to reports submitted to the central government as part of a national civil service audit aimed at pruning the state payroll.

The reports prepared by regional commissioners across the country and delivered to the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Local Governments and Regional Administration), George Simbachawene, show that there are over 2,500 ghost civil servants in Tanzania Mainland alone.

The regional breakdown shows Mwanza with the highest figure (334), followed by Arusha with 270 and Singida with 231 non-existent but paid government employees, respectively.

The revelations were made within two weeks of President Magufuli ordering the newly-appointed regional commissioners to identify and remove all ghost workers at local government level as part of a wider crackdown on public salary fraud.
According to the RCs’ reports, the payments to these ‘ghost’ workers have led to billions of shillings going down the drain each month, with Arusha region losing 1.1bn/- in this month of March alone.

Dar es Salaam region recorded 73 ‘ghost’ workers culminating in a monthly loss of 316 million/-, with Kigoma (171 workers - 114m/- lost per month); Kilimanjaro (114 workers – 281m/- lost per month); and Kagera (14 workers - 49m/- lost per month) also prominently exposed.

For other regions, the breakdown was as follows; Lindi (57 ‘ghost’ workers - 36m/- lost per month; Ruvuma, (37ghost workers - 58m/- lost per month) Katavi (21 ghost workers - 20.7m/- lost in six months), Manyara (55 workers - 142m/- lost per month).

Mara (94 ghost workers with a loss of 121m/- in the month of March), Mbeya and Songwe (98 ghost workers with a loss of 121/- per month), Njombe (34 ghost workers with a loss of 20m/- in the month of March).

Simiyu (33 ghost workers with loss of 320m/-), Tabora (48 workers with loss of 118m/- per month), Morogoro (122 with loss of over 450m/- in March), Lindi (57 ghost workers with loss of 36m/- per month), and Dodoma (139 workers with loss of 287bn/- over six months).

Monthly loss figures could not be immediately ascertained for some regions like Singida (231 ghost workers), Mtwara (17 ghost workers), Tanga (104 ghost workers), and Coast (150 ghost workers). Surprisingly, no ghost workers were identified in Shinyanga region, leading to the authorities pledging to delve deeper.

Speaking after receiving the reports, Simbachawene commended the RCs for doing a good job and urged them to continue serving the public with integrity and dedication.

“You should use all the authority invested on you to ensure that everything is done properly in your regions,” the minister said.

While swearing in the RCs at State House in Dar es Salaam recently, Magufuli instructed them to clamp down on crime, saying there was no reason for Tanzanians to continue to suffer from poverty and insecurity.

Saying the country's youths shouldn’t be allowed to remain idle, the president ordered the RCs to find ways of putting young Tanzanians to work "even by force."

“I am giving you 15 days to fix these problems," Magufuli told the RCs.
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