Tanzania’s president has sacked his home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga after responding to a question under the influence of alcohol.
Kitwanga is the first minister to be fired since the cabinet’s appointment.
Analysts said his sacking came as a surprise as he was widely viewed as being close to the president.
President John Magufuli, who took office in November has promised to tackle corruption and inefficiency in government. He has sacked several senior officials for graft and cut spending he deemed wasteful, such as scrapping official Christmas cards.
The presidential state house said in a statement that Kitwanga was sacked after he “turned up at the parliament drunk and responded to a question directed to the Ministry of Home Affairs while being in a drunken state”.
The home affairs minister had previously faced calls by lawmakers to quit before the incident. He has been criticised for his handling of the ministry.
Kitwanga could not immediately be reached for comment.
Government red tape and official corruption have often been blamed by businesses for slowing down or deterring investment in the poor African nation, which has discovered offshore gas reserves that it is seeking to develop.