Union presidential candidate under the coalition of four opposition parties (UKAWA), Mr Edward Lowassa, cannot distance himself from the Richmond scandal despite various efforts made by the parties to cleanse him.
Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa
Addressing a packed press conference in Dar es Salaam , former Chadema Secretary General, Dr Willibrod Slaa, termed as baseless claims that if Mr Lowassa was at all involved in the saga he should then be taken to court.
“There are no statutes of limitation in criminal cases, it does not mean that he is innocent just because he has not been arraigned before a court of law,” Dr Slaa told reporters, requesting voters not to elect a candidate with questionable records.
Mr Lowassa had tendered his resignation in early 2008 after being implicated in an energy deal corruption scandal, although he denied that his office was involved in improperly awarding a contract to US-based electricity company – Richmond Development – in 2006. The firm failed to provide emergency power during a power crisis in 2006.
Armed with documents he claimed to be evidence of his involvement, Dr Slaa hinted that former premier’s participation in the Richmond deal was clear, thus clearing him of wrongdoing was just a wastage of time. He wanted Mr Lowassa to come clean and name the person who ordered him to close the deal with the company as he has been claiming that he received orders from above.
“Why does he fear? I need him to come out and tell us who ordered him. We have all the evidence and it is not my responsibility to take him to court,” he said.
Dr Slaa insisted that Mr Lowassa was a leader tainted with corruption and his remarks that anybody with evidence that he is corrupt or was engaged in the Richmond scandal should either take it before courts of law or stay mum was absurd.