Tanzania’s Magufuli reshuffles cabinet, fires home affairs minister

John Magufuli has reshuffled his cabinet. (Reuters pic)

NAIROBI: Tanzanian President John Magufuli swore in three new ministers on Monday, his office said, in a reshuffle that included the firing of the home affairs minister.

Minister Mwigulu Nchemba, who had the home affairs portfolio that includes police and domestic security, was replaced by Kangi Lugola, former deputy environment minister.

The reshuffle also saw new ministers in charge of water and infrastructure appointed.

“The ministry I have sent you (to) has a lot of challenges,” the national broadcaster showed Magufuli telling Lugola.

“It’s a ministry that has not impressed me.”

Among the problems he cited were bad contracts for the import of police cars, issuance of work permits without due process, and a rising rate of road accidents.

“At the top, I am not impressed, I have to tell you the truth. I have sent you there to do a job. And the lucky thing about you is that you are a police officer.”

He instructed the new minister of works, transport, and communications Isack Kamwele to expedite the completion of big infrastructure projects including roads, railways, and airports.

Magufuli also brought in an additional deputy minister at the ministry of agriculture, Omary Tebwete Mgumba.

Magufuli, nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for his forceful leadership style, has introduced anti-corruption measures and tough economic reforms since taking office in November 2015.

Reforms have included cuts to government spending and overhauling the fiscal and regulatory regimes of the mining sector in Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer.

Critics say his cost-cutting measures and policy changes are excessive and undermine growth by stifling foreign investment in critical sectors such as mining.

Last month, the finance minister forecast economic growth to increase to 7.2% in the year from 7.1% in 2017.