As the crackdown on verifying ghost workers nears the deadline next Friday, a total of 16,127 have been identified and removed from the government's payroll.
The Minister of State in the President's Office - Public Service Management and Good Governance, Ms Angela Kairuki, confirmed the report before reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, adding that the verification exercise has saved 16.15b/- that would have been paid to the phantom workers as August 2016 salaries.
"Until August 17, a total of 16,127 ghost workers have so far been removed. This has helped the government to save 16.15 billion/- that would have been paid to them as August 2016 salaries," Ms Kairuki told reporters.
Meanwhile, the minister has said that 233 civil servants are under their radar on suspicion of being involved in the ghost workers' scam.
She said that the government has started taking various measures, including sacking three civil service administrators behind the mess as 606 civil servants are being interrogated by both the police and Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
Ms Kairuki stressed the need for government departments, agencies and institutions who have not yet presented to the ministry the verification report to do so before the deadline.
"My ministry is due to present the official verification report to President John Magufuli with attachments that will list government institutions that have taken action to remove ghost workers as well as those who have declined," she explained.
She said a total number of 145 government institutions have not yet presented the verification report to her office, reiterating the need for the responsible managements to implement the directives before the deadline or face legal measures.
Among the institutions that have not submitted the verification report are 11 councils, 10 higher learning institutions, 25 hospitals, 12 regional executive directors' offices, six government authorities, 10 committees, 38 local government authorities and 30 public institutions and agencies.
The minister said that a total of 264 out of 409 employers have presented the verification report to her office and among them (264) 201 confirmed the presence of ghost workers and the rest 63 employers confirmed to have had none in their respective institutions.
On the other hand, Ms Kairuki said that the government is conducting a surprise visit in 70 government institutions including ministries, government departments, regional secretariats, local government authorities and public institutions to prove the verification report of ghost workers presented by the responsible employees to her office.
"My office will provide the information concerning the 70 institutions at the end of the surprise visit in all the offices. The aim is to cross-check their verification reports presented to my office," she said, adding that the exercise kicked off on August 15.
In another development, Ms Kairuki said that the government is taking various measures, including training of personnel officers involved in the payroll system, to instil a sense of responsibility among officials involved in the payment of salaries.