Copyright: The authors. Published on behalf of the Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP) by the Overseas Development Institute, 111 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JD, UK (Overseas Development Institute (ODI) - The UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues). The APPP Research Report series is edited by Richard Crook, Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Africa Power and Politics Programme is a consortium research programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with additional support from Irish Aid, for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of DFID, Irish Aid or the Programme as a whole. Like IPTL, Richmond-Dowans came on stream too late to avoid another power crisis in 2006-07.27 Despite similarities, the two power projects were quite different in nature. Whereas Mechmar, IPTL's Malaysian parent company, already had some modest experience in the Tanzanian power sector, Richmond was a shell company fronting for an improvised emergency procurement project promoted by Rostam Aziz and Edward Lowassa, respectively MP/CCM Treasurer and Prime Minister.28 A Commission of Enquiry into the scam led by CCM legislator Harrison Mwakyembe criticised Lowassa for using his position to steamroller the project through cabinet and parliament. Lowassa, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, and his predecessor in the post were forced to resign, an unprecedented event in Tanzania.29 To give one example, Edward Lowassa, Prime Minister in the first two years of the Kikwete presidency, was at different times Minister of Lands and Minister of Water. Lowassa systematically used his position to extract both personal and political rents. Lowassa was involved in the Dar es Salaam and Lake Victoria water projects, Richmond, the Kagera Sugar Company, and numerous deals involving land, housing, and construction. He also had a reputation for extorting rents from Asian businessmen, with whom he developed a generally antagonistic relationship. Lowassa regularly used his powers as Prime Minister (2005-08) to prevent parliamentary discussion of ‘sensitive' issues that implicated him, which upset some CCM backbenchers, and helped split the party into pro-Kikwete and pro-Lowassa factions. Another example is Rostam Aziz, Tanzania's premier political broker. Of Persian origin, Aziz, who is in his 40s, is heavily involved in patronage politics within the higher reaches of the ruling party, and is frequently referred to as the ‘king-maker' who master-minded the strategy to finance Jakaya Kikwete's rise to power. He was Treasurer of the ruling party until 2007, when his star began to fall as his association with the Richmond power fiasco, described above, and the earlier EPA scandal became public knowledge. Aziz's Caspian Construction Ltd is a successful contracting company. He is also a newspaper owner. Aziz is the nearest Tanzania has to an example of an ‘oligarch' with a ‘state capture' agenda Aziz and Lowassa were leading members of the team that brought Kikwete to power in 2005. Opinions are divided as to how well-informed Presidents are by their aides and intelligence services. The President is often characterised as being somehow ‘cleaner' than most of his aides, who are widely thought to have personal and group agendas of their own. At the same time, it is useful for the President to have the fallback of plausible deniability as the main line of defence against accusations of personal involvement in corruption. The present President has seen fit to allow the prosecution of a number of senior politicians and bureaucrats in relation to scandals that originated under former presidents, though other key (and more senior) suspects have yet to be prosecuted. The latter might be interpreted as complicity by the President in these major deals, or worse, direct involvement; however, it is also congruent with political weakness, and an unwillingness to further destabilize the CCM boat.