A Detailed Biography of Edward Lowassa

A Detailed Biography of Edward Lowassa

Edward Ngoyai Lowassa, who commonly goes by just Edward Lowassa without the middle name, a Tanzanian statesman who served as PM of Tanzania between 2005 to 2008 under President Jakaya Kikwete, was born on August 26th, 1953. Edward Lowassa holds the distinction of becoming Tanzania’s first PM forced to step down due to corruption. Following his removal from office, President Kikwete was obligated by the Constitution to dissolve his government and form a new one from scratch under Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda as soon as humanly possible.

Edward Lowassa abandoned the ruling CCM after the party failed to nominate him as its presidential contender in the October 2015 elections and instead ran as an opposing candidate. CCM-approved nominee John Pombe Magufuli defeated him squarely in the election.

Edward Lowassa Biography

Edward Lowassa Family Tree and Early life

In the early twentieth century, Edward Lowassa was the 4th child of sheepherder Ngoyai Lowassa, who served part-time as a tarish for the colonial administration in Monduli District, in the Arusha Region (village law enforcement). Edward Lowassa has a sibling who goes by the name of Kalaine. And one of his children, Frederick Edward Lowassa, has continued the political legacy of his father as he is now a member of parliament of Tanzania.

Edward Lowassa’s Education

In 1961, Edward Lowassa enrolled at Monduli Elementary School [later called Moringe Primary School]. Edward Lowassa has been the band leader at Monduli Elementary School and took the CPEE in 1967. He subsequently went on to Arusha Secondary School in 1968, where he completed his Ordinary-Level Certificate, the CSEE, in 1971. Between 1972 to 1973, he studied at Milambo Secondary School for his Advanced levels and sat for his ACSEE. Edward Lowassa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine and Performing Arts as an undergraduate at Dar es Salaam University in 1977. He met John Chilligati and Jakaya Kikwete at the University of Dar es Salaam. He joined the army in 1978 and battled in the Kagera War, a conflict between Uganda and Tanzania. In 1984, Edward Lowassa earned a master’s degree in Development Studies at the Bath University in the UK.

Nyerere talking to army generals of TPDF during Kagera war
Nyerere talking to army generals of TPDF during Kagera war

Edward Lowassa Career

Minister of State for the Prime Minister Ali Hassan Mwinyi during the second term of President Mwinyi. By the time of the 1995 CCM presidential nominations, Julius Nyerere had decided that Edward Lowassa wasn’t the right candidate for the position. He was therefore expelled from the party‘s leadership. When the Office of the Vice President in charge of Environment and Poverty named him Minister for State in 1997, he maintained his seat in Parliament. He became an influential backbencher in the parliamentary House.

Edward Lowassa was named Minister of Water and Livestock Development after the general elections of 2000, and he quickly established himself as a dedicated minister. Edward Lowassa did not run for the CCM presidential candidacy in 2005, but Edward Lowassa became a significant advocate for his long-time buddy, Jakaya Kikwete, running for the presidency.

Kikwete, who ran on the CCM banner, won the general election significantly over the other candidates. He was nominated with 82 percent of the vote. On December 29th, 2005, President Kikwete proposed Edward Lowassa as PM in exchange. Parliament decisively confirmed the nomination, with 312 votes in favor and two votes against it, and Edward Lowassa was inaugurated on December 30th of the same year. Edward Lowassa has a wide range of experience in parliamentary and government matters.

Richmond Corruption Scandal

After being entangled in the Richmond Energy agreement corruption controversy, Edward Lowassa was compelled to retire on February 7th, 2008. This came after a report by a parliamentary review panel on an urgent power generation deal between Richmond Development Company LLC of Texas and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (TANESCO), a government entity. According to the 3-5-member review panel, the deal was fraudulently concluded, which Kyela MP Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe led. After a drought period early in 2006, Richmond LLC was hired to deliver 100 MW of energy each day, but the generators came late and did not work as promised. Despite this, Richmond was paid more than $100,000 each day by the government. After that, despite TANESCO’s advice, Edward Lowassa’s office swayed the decision of the government to continue Richmond’s contract. Mr. Nazir Karamagi and Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha, two additional cabinet members who handled the energy ministry, were forced to quit their posts of responsibility as well.

On the other hand, Edward Lowassa denied all claims that his office fraudulently allocated a contract to Richmond Development, a US-based electrical company, in 2006.

Harrison Mwakyembe
Harrison Mwakyembe

Barare Limited

Barare Limited was formed on April 7th, 1997, by Mr. Edward Lowassa and his beautiful wife, Regina Mumba Lowassa. As stockholders, they each have 500 stock shares. They were both identified as directors and managers of the company, which was based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. When Edward Lowassa’s kid, Frederick Edward Lowassa,’s name came up for money laundering in the United Kingdom in May 2009, his company, Barare Limited, came under serious scrutiny.

Edward Lowassa Presidential Aspirations

CCM aspirants Edward Lowassa and Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere were among more than a dozen candidates in 1995, but former president Nyerere objected and questioned Edward Lowassa’s rapid rise to wealth. It was Nyerere that forced Edward Lowassa out of the party, which eventually led to Benjamin Mkapa becoming Tanzania’s third president after the election.

“Boys Two Men” was the nickname given to Edward Lowassa and Jakaya Kikwete in 2005 because of their powerful political alliance, which ultimately helped Kikwete defeat all of his competitors in the ruling party’s leadership.

Edward Lowassa was banned from CCM for a year in 2014 after he was suspected of launching his presidential campaign earlier than permitted. Due to the lack of a definitive report, the CCM Governing Board extended the ban until February 2015.

Edward Lowassa launched his bid for the presidency in Arusha in May of that year. He said that he would focus on improving the school system, decreasing poverty, increasing economic growth, and combating corruption as his top priorities.

Jakaya Kikwete
Jakaya Kikwete

This decision was made on July 11th, 2015, and Edward Lowassa was removed from the CCM Central Committee’s presidential hopefuls’ list. A total of 378 members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) cast their votes for Amina Salum Ali, John Magufuli, Bernard Membe, January Makamba, and Asha-Rose Migiro. Many people were surprised when Edward Lowassa was voted out of the running, as he stood a better chance than most of the names on the CCM shortlist.

Edward Lowassa accused the CCM of being ”infected with dictatorial leaders, being undemocratic, and surrounded by dishonest power mongers.” He defected from the party and joined the opposition party, Chadema. At a meeting of four opposition groups, including Chadema, on August 4th, 2015, he was selected as the candidate for president. On March 1st, 2019, the CCM welcomed back Edward Lowassa after he resigned from Chadema.

                                                        Positions Held by Edward Lowassa

Since the late 1980s, Edward Lowassa has held a variety of posts in the administration.

Post Duration
Prime Minister 2005–2008
Member of Parliament for Monduli Constituency 1990–2015
Minister of Water and Livestock Development 2000–2005
Minister for State — Environment & Poverty, Vice President’s Office 1997–2000
Minister of Lands, Human Settlement Development 1993–1995
Minister for State, Prime Minister’s Office and First Vice President (Judiciary & Parliamentary Affairs) 1990–1993
Managing Director of the Arusha International Conference Centre 1989–1990

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