Tanzania President John Magufuli has dismissed two senior officials after they were caught opening a fake bank account to funnel aid funds destined for victims of a recent earthquake.

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake, which struck the Kagera region in Tanzania near the Uganda border on 10 September, killed at least 16 and wounded 200.

While the UK government donated 6bn shillings (£2.1m, $2.7m) and India made a cheque for 455m shillings for earthquake survivors, the presidency was forced to sack two senior officials and suspend another for being part of the plan to take money collected for earthquake victims, Magufuli's office said in a statement.

The two top officials and an accountant allegedly opened an account in the same name as the one that was opened by Magufuli's government to raise funds for the victims.

"The three intended to use the account to collect money for their own benefit while it was meant ot help the victims of the quake," director of presidential communication, Gerson Partinus Msigwa, said in the statement.

Kagera administrative secretary Amantius Msole and Bukoba municipal council director Steven Makonda were named as the two disgraced officials, according to Msigwa. Accountant Simbaufoo Swai was suspended - for an unknown period of time.

The three accused were yet to comment at the time of writing.