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PROFILE: Edward Ngoyai Lowassa

Friday October 23 2015
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Edward Ngoyai Lowassa

Mr Edward Lowassa was born on August 26, 1953 in Munduli District in Arusha Region. He is the fourth child of herdsman Ngoyai Lowassa, who worked part-time for the colonial government in Monduli District as a village law enforcer.

He went to Monduli Primary School, which was later renamed Moringe Primary School in 1961 to 1967. After completing his primary school education Mr Lowassa went to Arusha Secondary School between 1968 and 1971. He then joined Milambo Secondary School in Tabora for advanced secondary school education from 1972 to 1974.

Mr Lowassa received his BA Degree in Fine and Performing Arts from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1977. In 1978, he was drafted in the army and fought in the Kagera War between Tanzania and Uganda. He later pursued MSc in development studies from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom in 1984.

Mr Lowassa served as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office during President Ali Hassan Mwinyi’s second term from 1990 to 1995. He sought the nomination of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as its presidential candidate in 1995, but was eliminated in the early stages.

After the 2000 General Election, he was appointed Minister for Water and Livestock Development. President Jakaya Kikwete also nominated Mr Lowassa as Prime Minister on December 29, 2005 following a successful election in which he spearheaded the campaign. Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed his nomination as Prime Minister with 312 votes in favour and two votes against and Mr Lowassa was sworn in on December 30.

On February 7, 2008, Mr Lowassa resigned following the tabling of a damning corruption report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on emergency power generation contract between the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco) and a US company, Richmond Development Company LLC of Houston, Texas.

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He declared in Parliament that his political enemies had used the report to get back at him and said all they wanted was the premiership. The committee chaired by Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, while not finding Mr Lowassa culpable, said as head of government business, he ought to take political responsibility for the Richmonhttp://172.16.8.35:8010/studio/d scandal.

The blot has remained with Mr Lowassa ever since and also came to haunt him in the current campaign in which he has aggressively defended himself over the power scandal and pointed an accusing finger at President Jakaya Kikwete.

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