TRC sacks officer for opposing transaction levies on social media

Jonas Afumwisye who was TRC Dar es Salaam regional manager was fired for opposing the introduction of Mobile money transaction levies on social media. PHOTO | COURTESY

Summary

  • Afumwisye has acknowledged receiving the letter on Sunday August 22, but said he intends to appeal to the Public Service Commission as the law directs.

Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) has sacked its Dar es Salaam regional manager Jonas Afumwisye for opposing the introduction of Mobile money transaction levies on social media.
TRC Director General, Masanja Kadogosa wrote to Afumwisye to inform him about the decision on August 19 after the allegations against him were confirmed.
Afumwisye has acknowledged receiving the letter on Sunday, August 22, but said he intends to appeal to the Public Service Commission as the law directs.


 “It is true I have received the letter, now what follows is for me to appeal the decision in 45 days,” said Afumwisye.
The letter explains the confirmation of Afumwisye's actions that go against the rule 42 part A item 10 of the Public Service Act of 2003.
"Between July 10 and September 25 , 2021, through social media groups, you opposed the Government's efforts to introduce charges on phone transactions," reads Kadogosa's letter.
The officer is also accused of opposing the Government's efforts to vaccinate citizens to avoid disease outbreaks.
Another allegation Kadogosa has stated in the letter was that the officer defamed the country's top leaders including President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Tulia Ackson through his posts on social media groups.
"Because all the allegations have been proven, the board of directors of TRC with the authority given under section 13(f) of the Railways Act number 10 of 2017 has decided to relieve you from your duties with effect from August 19, 2022. In the case you are not satisfied with this decision, you have the right to appeal to the Public Service Commission within 45 days from the date of receipt of this letter. This is in accordance with rule 60 of the public service act of 2003," explains the letter signed by Kadogosa.
Commenting on TRC’s decision, stakeholders have said that it is not fair to fire an employee for giving his opinion on things that other Tanzanians are talking about just like him.
The President of the Confederation of Trade Unions (Tucta), Tumaini Nyamhokya said they oppose the dismissal of the worker because it is his right to express his opinion.
"An employee's opinion against things he finds unsatisfactory is his basic right and I don't think there are any legal provisions that give the employer the authority to fire an employee for airing his opinion in public," said Nyamhokya.


Coordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Network (THRDC), Onesmo Olengurumwa on the other hand said the employee's opinion is the same as that of other Tanzanians affected by the transaction levies.
"That levies concern him as well, it is not a professional matter. If he had said anything about the employer then it would have been a disciplinary issue but there is no connection between his employment and the levies. That is his right and he should be defended by legal bodies," said Olengurumwa.
The Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), Anna Henga said she was disappointed by the dismissal of the employee and that the incident shows the importance of the right to freedom of expression without breaking the law