SIX government officials in Tanzania were jailed this week after turning up late for a meeting, reports said Friday, amid a government campaign to tighten standards and tackle corruption.
“The officials spent six hours in custody following the order by the district commissioner,” the Uhuru newspaper reported Friday, in an editorial praising the move.
“They showed up two hours earlier on the following day,” it added.
The local government official in a suburb of the main city Dar es Salaam ordered his six colleagues be locked up after they turned up over three hours late for a meeting he had called at 8:00 am about land disputes.
The commissioner reportedly said the tardiness of the public servants was “irresponsible.”
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli earlier this month ordered government officials to solve a string of problems that the people face including thousands of land disputes, which often are compounded by corrupt officials.
Earlier this week, Magufuli scrapped independence day celebrations to spend the money on a clean-up campaign as Tanzania struggles with an outbreak of cholera.
“It is so shameful that we are spending huge amounts of money to celebrate 54 years of independence when our people are dying of cholera,” Magufuli said in a statement read on state television on Monday.
Magufuli has quickly earned a reputation for frugality and being opposed to ostentation, in a continent famous for politicians and big men who live large.
It has made him a social media sensation, with a hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo, a lighthearted take on what people would do if they were Magufuli, going viral this week.(See: STORIFY - Tanzania’s new leader Magufuli walks the talk, and African Twitter follows - to hilarious effect).
Magufuli, who took power earlier this month after winning October 25 elections, has introduced a swathe of austerity cuts and crackdowns on public corruption..