Prime Minister Edward Lowassa has resigned Friday, following the completion Wednesday of a Parliamentary investigation into his dealings with the supposedly U.S.-based Richmond Development Company (RDC). The company turned out to be non-existent, with assets barely more than a post-office box. The government’s ill-fated hiring of RDC to provide badly needed electrical power plants was covered at length in the Global Integrity Report: Tanzania, published last week.
Energy Minister Nazir Karamagi and East African Cooperation Minister Idrissa Msabaha have also resigned. The president of Tanzania has dissolved the Cabinet. Tanzanian media appears quite happy with the resignations. Mizengo Pinda has been named the new prime minister.
Global Integrity’s analysis of anti-corruption in Tanzania identified systemic weaknesses in the oversight of public expenditure, noting that “the Public Accounts Committee is chaired by the opposition, but the committee still has very limited influence, and the chair frequently makes public comments defending the status quo.”
In related news, the ongoing scandal has prompted some enthusiastic local coverage of the Global Integrity Report: Tanzania.
I just read today, Feb. 17th, that President Bush was in Tanzania and gave the government a “grant” of almost $700-million in foreign aid. Why does the US keep giving foreign aid to countries with such high amounts of corruption. I cover Iraq’s corruption at my blog, http://webworks.typepad.com/corruption_in_iraq/ and included some references to your global integrity report on Tanzania. Iraq has the same problem – we spend billions there on aid, but don’t require that they enforce anti-corruption investigations or modify laws to allow prosecution of corrupt officials.