Tanzania: Government loses 4.5bn/- to ghost workers, most in the health sector

tanzania_mrs_hawa_ghasiaTHE government has incurred a loss of 4.5bn/- in various payments made to 1,500 ghost workers in the health sector, an audit conducted by the Presidents Office (Public Service Management) has revealed.

The Minister responsible for Public Service Management, Mrs Hawa Ghasia (pictured), told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the audit carried out from April to June this year discovered that the money was paid to 1,511 ghost workers through separate bank accounts. According to the minister, the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), accounts for the largest number of fake workers (364).

She further said that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its institutions including MNH had 395 ghost workers.

Asked to comment on the matter, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ms Blandina Nyoni, confirmed to have received the report but said her ministry would conduct its internal audit to verify the facts.

But the MNH spokesperson refuted claims that there were ghost workers at the hospital and said once the report was availed to them they would take relevant action.

This is the second time the government has carried out such an audit since the fourth phase government took office in December 2005. There are more than 370,000 civil servants in the government payroll.

The audit aims at scrutinizing deployment of human resources and embezzlement in the payrolls. Mrs Ghasia said the problem of ghost workers continued to exist due to failure by some employers to delete retirees from their payrolls because of various reasons.

The minister said the exercise to be extended to all government institutions was going on and the public service management staff were currently auditing the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

In 2007 a total of 1,413 ghost workers were detected in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training who caused a loss of 3.044bn/-. The government has vowed to take legal action against those involved.

The minister also directed all employers to review their payrolls from time to time to get rid of the problem. The health sector exercise saw auditors visiting 3,519 places countrywide which included hospitals, health institutions and various dispensaries with a total of 39,247 employees.

The regions that were found to have high numbers of ghost workers in the health sector include Arusha (101), Tanga (96), Tabora (93), Coast (83), Ruvuma (81), Mwanza (71), Lindi (71), Iringa (68) and Morogoro (62).

Sunday News

Others are Dodoma (49), Kagera (48), Kilimanjaro (44), Rukwa (44), Manyara (39), Shinyanga (30), Dar es Salaam (29), Singida (28) Mara (18), Mtwara (17) and Kigoma (5).

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