DAR ES SALAAM – The Tanzanian government has banned all its workers from social media during working hours.
In a circular by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, in charge of Public Service Management, Dr Florian Ndumbaro said that government offices with internet connectivity should not be used to access social media platforms.
Dr Ndumbaro said the decision arose from complaints by members of the public about slow delivery of services. He said some employees are pre-occupied with social media sites during working hours.
The circular was sent to all ministries, regional administrations and state-run agencies and also read on a state television TBC 1.
Public servants are however permitted to visit the social media sites after 3:30 pm local time.
According to Dr Ndumbaro, government offices that need access to social media during working hours should write to his office seeking permission.
The government says poor service delivery jeopardises its efforts to offer services quickly and efficiently as well as its move towards e-governance.
Some public servants in Uganda that PML Daily reached slammed President John Magufuli over stifling workers the freedom to communication also calling him mean.
Janat Masibo an employee at the Ministry of Finance, said the Tanzanian government’s move is so unfair adding that it cuts the communication cycle since some workers need to communicate to their staff or relatives via social media.
“[President] Magufuli is being so mean and rude, public servants are also human beings with freedom to communicate,” an employee.
However, Mr Alex Ssewakiryanga, a lecturer at the School of Education Makerere University said that while the ban is aimed at ensuring discipline among civil servants, those that need access should be allowed to.
“The restrictions should only apply on workers who are not required to be online all the time so as to perform their duties. There are a few exceptions, and these should be exempt,” he said.
He added that, “what I understand it is that internet access being paid for by the government is for public service and not otherwise. It is unfortunate that some of us don’t see it that way, and we misuse the facilities,” he said.