Various disciplinary measures have been taken against 1,663 public servants linked to the scandalous 19,620 phantom workers in the Tanzanian government payroll as of Oct 5.

Minister of State in the President's Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance, Angela Kairuki, told the National Assembly here that the disciplined public servants were from the ministries, agencies, government institutions and local governments.

She said the local governments topped the list with 1,632 culprits while the ministries had 16, nine from the agencies and institutions and six from the Regional Secretariat. She gave the statistics while answering a question by Maida Abdallah (Special Seats-CCM), who sought to know the measures the government had taken against the perpetrators of ghost workers who have been consuming a lot of money from the government coffers.

The minister said 638 suspects have their cases filed at police, 50 have been handed to the Prevention of Corruption and Combatting Bureau (PCCB) and disciplinary bodies are handling 975 others. "Among them, 38 employees have their cases completed, with directives to reimburse the money," she explained.

Kairuki revealed that as of Tuesday, the number of ghost workers stood at 19,620 - costing the government 19.7bn/- monthly.

She cited an example of Kinondoni Municipal Council which had 107 ghost workers, receiving 1.27bn/- and Kishapu's 73 workers who were pocketing 543m/-, monthly. Apart from the initiatives, Kairuki said the government is making prompt verification through a Human Capital Management Information System (HCMIS) to curb the fraudulent acts.

The government embarked on verification of workers early this year after sensing a great number of ghost workers in the government payroll. Ministries, institutions, agencies and local governments were given until Oct 31 to complete the verification or face disciplinary actions.