Jonas Afumwisye, the regional manager for Dar es Salaam for the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC), was fired for publicly criticizing the implementation of mobile money transfer fees on social media.
While acknowledging receiving the notice of dismissal, Mr. Afumwisye stated he will appeal to the Public Service Commission.
“It is true I have received the letter. Now what follows is for me to appeal the decision in 45 days,” he stated.
He is charged with violating the 2003 Public Service Act.
In the letter, Mr. Afumwisye is also accused of disparaging political figures on social media, such as President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Speaker of the House Dr. Tulia Ackson, as well as criticizing the government’s immunization initiatives.
The letter from TRC Director-General Masanja Kadogosa states, “Because all the allegations have been proven, the board of directors of TRC…has decided to relieve you from your duties with effect from August 19, 2022.”
Trade unionists and advocates for human rights criticized the action.
The worker has the right to voice his viewpoint, according to Confederation of Trade Unions President Tumaini Nyamhokya, who stated that they rejected the firing.
“I don’t think there are any legal rules that give the employer the authority to fire an employee for airing his opinion in public,” said Mr. Nyamhokya.
“An employee’s opinion against things he finds unsatisfactory is his basic right.”
Onesmo Olengurumwa, the coordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Network, claimed that the official’s personal views were unrelated to his position.
“…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,” he remarked.
The episode, according to Anna Henga, Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre, emphasizes the value of the right to freedom of speech.