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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 16:36 GMT
Tanzania leader names new premier
Edward Lowassa
The former prime minister feels the committee misled parliament
Tanzania's president has named a new prime minister a day after dissolving his entire cabinet in the wake of a corruption scandal.

Mizengo Pinda is to replace Edward Lowassa, who resigned along with two ministers, after being implicated in an energy deal involving a US-based firm.

They deny any wrongdoing but there has been a public outcry about the affair.

The company was hired to provide emergency electricity during a power crisis, but MPs say it failed to do so.

Parliament must confirm the nomination of Mr Pinda, previously minister for regional affairs and local government.

President Jakaya Kikwete hopes a new government will be in place before US President George Bush visits the country next week.

Prosecution calls

Correspondents say pressure has been mounting on the government to crack down on officials linked to corruption.

The storm has been gathering... and people have been very dissatisfied with the performance of some ministers
Political analyst Mwesigye Baregu

A parliamentary committee set up to investigate the 2006 energy deal revealed that the government was losing more than $100,000 a day to the US-based electricity company that was awarded the contract.

Political analyst Mwesigye Baregu says the resignations allow the president to reposition his government and restore public confidence in the face of sharp criticism.

"The storm has been gathering in the past two years and people have been very dissatisfied with the performance of some ministers," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Mr Lowassa made an emotional speech to parliament when he resigned on Thursday, saying he felt the committee had misled parliament.

Energy and Minerals Minister Nazir Karamagi and Ibrahim Msabaha - a former energy minister and now in the East African Community ministry - resigned hours after him.

The BBC's Vicky Ntetema in Dar es Salaam says Richmond Development was contracted to bring in generators to provide 100 megawatts of electricity each day after a drought early in 2006 left low water levels in dams leading to severe power cuts.

By the time the company was ready to start operations, Tanzania's power problems had been resolved.

Mr Lowassa's office later influenced the government's decision to extend Richmond's contract despite advice to the contrary from the state-run energy company Tanesco, the inquiry alleges.

The parliamentary committee has recommended that those implicated in the scandal be prosecuted but observers say the onus remains with President Kikwete.

SEE ALSO
Country profile: Tanzania
15 Jan 08 |  Country profiles

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