President John Magufuli of Tanzania has laid off 9,932 public workers after a report found that they were using fake certificates in their service, Business Daily reports.

The no nonsense head of state is said to have directed that April salaries for the affected employees be withheld.

He also directed the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, to declare the posts vacant.

“They are thieves like any other thieves… you cannot perform if you don’t have deserving qualifications,” he said as quoted by BD.

Other employees whose certificates contained discrepancies will also face Magufuli’s music as they would be handled by the law.

They could be jailed for seven years as the Tanzanian law requires.

Magufuli seeks to root out ghost workers in his administration.

He said the State was losing Tsh19.84 billion monthly (around Sh915 million) to ghost workers.

The neighbouring country conducted a verification of 435,000 civil servants’ certificates.

President Magufuli has given those affected until 15 May to resign or face legal action.

A similar exercise last year saw Tanzania get rid of at least 10,000 ghost workers from its public sector payroll as Magufuli’s administration continued with its crackdown on corruption.

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