September 12, 2019 / 2:42 PM / 3 days ago

Tanzanian leader sacks spy chief ahead of polls

Tanzania's President John Magufuli addresses a news conference during his official visit to Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/Files

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzanian president John Magufuli has sacked the head of the country’s intelligence service, the presidency said on Thursday, a move seen as indicating a shake-up of the intelligence network ahead of elections next year.

Modestus Kipilimba was dismissed as director general of the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS) after three years in the post. No reason was given.

“President John Magufuli today appointed and swore in Diwani Athuman Msuya as director general of national intelligence,” the presidency said in a statement. 

Under Tanzanian law, the spy chief serves for a five-year term, which is renewable.

Msuya, whose appointment takes immediate effect, was previously head of the anti-corruption agency and was at one time the director of criminal investigations in the police force.

Kipilimba will be assigned other duties, the presidency said, without giving details.

The move could signal plans by Magufuli to shake up the country’s intelligence service, one security analyst said.

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Duncan Miriri and

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