Tanzania President John Magufuli's newly appointed permanent secretaries have signed a “beefed up” integrity commitment document as part of a move to ensure seriousness towards rooting out graft and injecting accountability among public sector workers, according to government spokesman Assah Mwambene.
Mwambene said the newly appointed officials were then made to read the signed document one after another at the state house in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. President Magufuli was on hand to supervise the signing.
“If there is anyone who feels he cannot work under the integrity commitment, he should dismiss himself and vacate the State House premises right now… It is possible that there are some of you who frown at the integrity declaration. Therefore, just stand aside so that we may establish those who do not agree with the declaration,” said President Magufuli during the signing in ceremony.
This is the first time that newly appointed government officials have signed this document in public.
Newly appointed government officials traditionally sign an integrity document which is then submitted to the Ethics Commission. But, this time, President Magufuli insisted on enhancing the document to include strong measures to curb corruption, according to Mwambene.
“This is a manifestation in terms of ensuring that every public official to the level of permanent secretaries must have unquestionable personal integrity,” said Mwambene. “This time around, the document has been beefed up with a very serious corruption element, the issue of personal integrity itself, transparency and to ensuring that when you are in power, you will really work within the law, but also observe ethical standards and make sure that at any time you are not suspected to be involved in malpractices.”
Opposition groups say the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party is to blame for the corruption and the abuse of office in the public sector since the party has been in power. They vowed to hold the government accountable to the people irrespective of the recent actions of President Magufuli to curb graft.