Tanzanian President John Magufuli opens up on why he likes snooping and eavesdropping on his ministers’ conversations

Tanzanian President John Magufuli likes to snoop and eavesdrop on his ministers’ conversations.
  • On Wednesday, President Magufuli revealed that he monitors the phone conversations of his government appointees.
  • On January 8th, President Magufuli made a mini cabinet reshuffle.
  • He revealed that the snooping actually informed his appointments.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli likes to snoop and eavesdrop on his ministers’ conversations.

On Wednesday, President Magufuli revealed that he monitors the phone conversations of his government appointees and urged them to improve their working relationship.

While speaking during the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed members of the cabinet, permanent secretaries and other senior officials at State House in Dar es Salaam Mr. Magufuli revealed the snooping actually informed his appointments.

When I tracked the telephone message communication between the Minister of Health [Mwalimu] and Dr Chaula [who was deputy permanent secretary in the Local Government and Regional Administration in charge of Health] I noticed a strain in their working relationship. So to make their quarrels come to a stop, I decided to place them under the same ministry...’’ he said.

President Magufuli said that to some extent, his decision to appoint Dr. Zainab Chaula as permanent secretary in the ministry of health was informed by his tracking of telephone conversations between her and the health minister, Ms Ummy Mwalimu.

He added that there were quarrels on matters to do with government decisions among some of the ministers, permanent secretaries, regional and district leaders.

I am watching them. This should stop,’’ he emphasized as he further revealed his watch-list of the leaders in other regions of the country where there are strained relationships among government appointees.

As you take up your new roles, you will face a lot of trials,’’ said Magufuli.

On January 8th, President Magufuli made a mini cabinet reshuffle where he shifted the minister for mining Ms Angellah Kairuki to the Prime Minister’s Office (Investment) and promoted Dotto Biteko from deputy to full minister in the mining ministry. 

He also made changes among permanent secretaries, including appointing Dr. Chaula as new permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health. She took over the role of Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya who has now been appointed as ambassador.

Magufuli cited Dr. Chaula’s record of overseeing the construction of over 300 health facilities across the country as one of the reasons for appointing her.

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