- President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania on Thursday dissolved cabinet after he had accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, and two other members [Nazir Karamagi and Ibrahim Msabaha] who were indicted in the country's major corruption scandal report.
The officials and several other officials were accused of interfering with an energy contract and favour the US company, Richmond, contravening laws and rules on procurement.
Lowassa told parliament that he had been forced to resign because his credibility was tarnished by a report into a deal involving Tanzania and Richmond for emergency power supply.
The Texas-based firm was hired in 2006 to provide emergency electricity during Tanzania's power crisis. Lawmakers complained of Richmond's failure to normalise the situation after all the deal costs more than US $140,000 a day.
"Because I have been linked to this scandal, I have decided to write to the President asking to be relieved of my duties," Lowassa told the parliamentary session in Dodoma.
"The whole process was unjust to me," he said, complaining that the parliamentary committee that investigated the scandal had not questioned him. "The report has tarnished my credibility."
The man, who had been the Premier since December 2005, believed that the parliament might have been misled.
Karamagi and Msabaha resigned hours after that of the Prime Minister, expressing concern over the scandal.
Karamagi told parliament thus: "I am taking collective responsibility as a cabinet minister."
The ball is now in Kikwete's court to go ahead with the parliamentary committee's recommendation that indicted officials be prosecuted.
But Msabaha held that "some of the problems some of the problems were caused by my subordinates, and I am also taking responsibility for their acts, which have tarnished the image of the government."
The acceptance of the Prime Minister's resignation by President Kikwete automatically follow the dissolution of the government.
President Kikwete is expected to appoint a new Prime Minister ahead of a visit by US President George Bush next week.
Kikwete, the new AU Chairman, said his government would do everything humanely possible to stamp out official corruption in the country. It was in that regard that he sacked the Central Bank Governor, Daudi Ballali, last January after he was linked to fraudulent transactions transactions.
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