Kinondoni Municipal District Commissioner Paul Makonda ordered police in the Kinondoni district of the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam to detain 20 civil servants after they arrived late for a meeting.
Mr Makonda said the officials were detained as they did not have any reason for being late.
However, Wednesday’s failed meeting was reorganised to take place on Thursday morning and the officials then arrived two hours early.
The comissioner’s decision has received extensive support from Tanzanians whom complain about the lateness of public officials as well as their long tea breaks and them seeking services from their positions.
However, human rights group have criticised the decision and said rules and regulations need to be followed to avoid chaos.
"If someone does not show up for work, then we have to follow the laws and procedures we have," Onesmo Olengurumwa, from the Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders' Coalition, told the BBC
But he added that he supports efforts shown by the current president to make sure that everyone is held accountable.
Newly elected Tanzanian President John Magufuli, nicknamed "The Bulldozer," has announced several cost-cutting measures, including a ban on government officials travelling abroad unnecessarily.