|8th Prime Minister of Tanzania|
30 December 2005 – 7 February 2008
|Preceded by||Frederick Sumaye|
|Succeeded by||Mizengo Pinda|
|Minister of Water and Livestock Development|
|President||Benjamin William Mkapa|
|Member of Parliament
26 August 1953 |
|Alma mater||UDSM (BA)
University of Bath (MSc.)
|Positions||MD, AICC (1989-90)|
Lowassa received his undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Masters Degree in Development Studies from The University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Lowassa did his secondary education at Ilboru Secondary School and concluded his high school studies at Milambo Secondary School in Tabora in 1977.
Lowassa served as Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office during President Ali Hassan Mwinyi's second term. He sought the nomination of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as its presidential candidate in 1995 but was eliminated in the early stages single-handedly by the charismatic former President Julius Nyerere, who strongly believed that Lowassa was not then correct material for the Presidency. He retained his parliamentary seat and became a strong backbencher in Parliament until 1997 when he was appointed Minister for State, Vice President's Office— Environment & Poverty. Following the 2000 general elections in Tanzania, he was appointed Minister of Water and Livestock Development and made his mark as a hardworking minister. In 2005 Lowassa elected not to seek the CCM presidential nomination but became key campaigner for his long-time friend, Jakaya Kikwete, in his bid for the presidential seat. Kikwete, running on a CCM ticket, won the elections comfortably by beating other contestants by a large margin. He polled 82% of the votes. In return, President Kikwete nominated Lowassa Prime Minister on 29 December 2005. Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed the nomination, with 312 votes in favour and two opposed, and Lowassa was sworn in on 30 December.
Lowassa resigned on 7 February 2008 following a parliamentary select committee report on an emergency power generation contract between the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (TANESCO), a public corporation, and a US company styled Richmond Development Company LLC of Houston, Texas. The five-member select committee, headed by a radical Kyela MP, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, considered the contract to have been fraudulently concluded, hence unconscionable and blamed the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Prime Minister's Office for foul play. Upon resignation, Lowassa informed the Tanzania Parliament that he had tendered his resignation to the President to protect the image of the government and his party in the wake of the damning parliamentary select committee report, which directly blamed the Prime Minister and two cabinet ministers who had held the energy portfolio, Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha and Nazir Karamagi. Lowassa and the two ministers were forced to resign.
Lowassa has an extensive background in both parliamentary and government affairs and has gone into record as the first Prime Minister to have been forced to resign by a fraud scandal in the history of Tanzania. Following his resignation President Kikwete was obliged to dissolve his cabinet as required by the Constitution and with minimum delay, constituted a new one under a new Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda.
Lowassa held various positions in the government since the late 1980s:
- Managing Director - Arusha International Conference Centre, 1989–1990
- Minister for State, Prime Minister's Office and First Vice President (Judiciary & Parliamentary Affairs), 1990–1993
- Minister of Lands, Human Settlement Development,1993–1995
- Minister for State, Vice President's Office;— Environment & Poverty, 1997–2000
- Minister of Water and Livestock Development, 2000–2005
- Member of Parliament;— Monduli Constituency, 1990–Present
- Prime Minister, 2005–2008
- Bilal Abdul-Aziz, "Lowassa new PM", Guardian (IPP Media), 30 December 2005.
- Associated Press (8 February 2008), "Tanzania's Cabinet dissolved after PM, Energy Minister resign", The Hindu (The Hindu Group), retrieved 3 April 2010
- Mehler, Andreas; Melber, Henning; Van Walraven, Klaas (2009). Africa Yearbook: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara in 2008. BRILL. p. 376. ISBN 90-04-17811-2.
- Edward Lowassa Photo Gallery
- Edward Lowassa Speech at FAO
- Edward Lowassa Speech at the UN Social Summit in Geneva
|Prime Minister of Tanzania
2005 – 2008