President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania has fired Health Deputy Minister Dr Faustine Ndugulile amid the novel Coronavirus crisis in the country.
The Head of State appointed Dr Godwin Mollel as the new assistant Health minister effective May 16, 2020.
Dr Ndugulile, 51, a microbiologist and public health advocate, joined the ministry in 2017 and has served for about three years.
In a tweet on Sunday, Dr Ndugulile thanked the President for the opportunity to serve in his cabinet.
He also extended gratitude to Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu for the work they did together.
“Nimepokea uamuzi wa Mhe Rais kwa unyenyekevu mkubwa. Ninamshukuru sana JPM kwa kunipa fursa ya kuhudumu katika Serikali yake. Nawashukuru sana @umwalimu na watendaji wote kwa ushirikiano walionipatia. Mafanikio ya sekta ni makubwa sana. Namtakia kila la kheri NW ajaye Dkt Mollel,” said Dr Ndugulile, who who also doubles up as the Member of Parliament for Kigamboni.
Nimepokea uamuzi wa Mhe Rais kwa unyenyekevu mkubwa. Ninamshukuru sana JPM kwa kunipa fursa ya kuhudumu katika Serikali yake. Nawashukuru sana @umwalimu na watendaji wote kwa ushirikiano walionipatia.
Mafanikio ya sekta ni makubwa sana. Namtakia kila la kheri NW ajaye Dkt Mollel.
— Faustine Ndugulile (@DocFaustine) May 17, 2020
The Minister’s sacking comes at a time the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country with reports indicating that hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.
The United States embassy in Tanzania recently accused President Magufuli’s government of hiding information on Covid-19.
The last time the authorities released an official update on the global health crisis was on April 29. Magufuli had expressed reservations over the number of cases confirmed in the country saying it was unrealistic. He also noted that the testing kits were faulty.
A day later, the Health minister suspended the head of the national community health laboratory director Dr Nyambura Moremi and the quality assurance manager Jacob Lusekelo pending investigations into inflated cases claims.
So far, the county has reported 509 cases and 21 fatalities.
The US government warned its citizens saying there is a high risk of contracting the virus in the country.
Magufuli has also refused to attend all regional meetings held by regional head of states.
This has heightened concerns over Tanzania’s response to the contagious disease.
Yesterday, the Kenyan government closed its borders with the country over the Covid-19 threat.
In a state of the nation address on Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned movement into and out of Kenya through the Tanzania and Somali borders for 30 days.
The President, however, exempted cargo transportation in the directive.
But on Sunday, Tanzania closed its borders for all trucks transporting goods into the country in what is seen as a retaliation move.