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|UK Report slams Lowasa, Rostam|
A new report from a study funded by British and Irish government agencies has highlighted the involvement of former prime minister Edward Lowassa and the Igunga member of parliament,Rostam Aziz,in several controversial deals in the country.
The report explains the roles of Lowassa and Rostam in the Richmond [power generation scandal that led to the resignation of the ex-Pm in 2008 after a parliamentary iquiry.
Richmond was a shell company fronting for an improvised emergency procurement project promoted by Rostam Aziz and Edward Lowassa respectively MP/CCM Treasurer and prime minister”, says the report.
“A commission of enquiry the scan led by CCM legslator Harrison Mwakyembe criticised Lowassa for using his position to steamroller the project through cabinet and parliament”.
The research report titled “the political economy of the investment climate in Tanzania “ was funded by the UK Department for international development [DFID] with additional support from irish Aid.
However,there is a disclaimer in the report saying; “the views expressed in this publicastion are those of the author and not necessarily those of DFID,Irish Aid or the programme as a whole”
The report notes that in an unprecedented event in Tanzania Lowassa,the minister of Energy and minerals,and his predecessor in the post were forced to resign as a result of the Richmond scandal.
The report explains how an intricate process of network creation in government ensures that the most ruthless and sinleminded politicians have their hands in most deals.
The research mentions Lowassa involvement in several controversial contracts during his time in senior positions in goverment as minister for lands, minister for water and later PM.
The report says Lowassa says tematically used his position in government to extract both personal and political influence.
Lowassa was involved in the Dar es Salaam and lake Victoria water projects, Richmond, the Kagera Sugar company, and numerous deals involving land, housing, and construction” notes the report.
Lowassa is widely thought to aspire to the presidency in the 2015 elections, as well as enjoying the support of a number of ruling party MPs, Lowassa is also said to have recruited widespread support from regional and District Commissioners, keyplayers in Tanzania politico–administrative security nexus”
The report describes the ex- PMs close ally, Rostam Aziz, as being heavity involved in patronage politics within the higher reaches of the ruling chama cha mapinduzi [CCM] party, and is frequently referred to as the kingmaker of Tanzania politics.
“He was Treasurer of the ruling party until 2007, when his star began to fall as his association with the Richmond power fiasco, descrebed above, and the earier [Bank of Tanzania] EPA scandal became public knowledge” says the report.
Aziz is the nearest Tanzania has to an example of an “oligarch’ with a “state capture ‘agenda”.
The june 2011 report was authored by Brian Cooksey and Tim Kelsall, affiliates of the Africa power and politics programme[APPP].
The APPP is a consortium research programme funded by DFID and Irish Aid for the benefit of developing countries.
Cooksey has lived and worked in Tanzania for the last 25 years working as a university lecture, consultant and occasional investigative journalist.
He is an active member of Transparency Interantional and is a founder member of the Tanzania chapter and has done extensive research on large –scale corruption in the country.
Lowassa and Rostam have separately denied any illegal involvenment in the Richmond Power generation scandal.
There are growing calls within CCM for the ruling party to expel Lowassa,Rosatm and former cabinet minister Andrew Chenge for tarnishing the party”s image due to widespread corruption allegation against them.
Source: ThisDay 4th-10th July, 2010 ISSN 1821-5262 No. 1225
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