Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday fired nearly 10,000 civil servants accused of having falsified academic qualifications to get their jobs.
The civil servants have been given 15 days to leave their jobs or risk jail terms of up to seven years.
Speaking in the capital, Dodoma, Magufuli described the 9,932 officials as “robbers and shoplifters” and ordered them to “immediately disappear from their work stations.”
“The 9,932 employees recruited on the basis of false diplomas will not receive their salary for this month of April and have to leave their positions immediately,” Magufuli said.
He added that the posts would be filled by “qualified persons” as soon as possible and called on local media to publish the names of those fired.
The officials had been implicated by an independent evaluation that sought to determine the validity of the academic papers of public employees in Tanzania.
The evaluation followed a countrywide crackdown on phantom workers on the public payroll.
Since winning elections in 2015, Magufuli has strengthened his reputation for fighting corruption with decisions many see as aimed at improving service delivery.
By Africafrique and agencies