Greed consuming Tanzania's Oil and Gas exploration I was sitting at a table in a hotel in Dar es Salaam recently and I overheard what I can only describe as a sordid story of greed and ingratitude. Apparently there is a young man called Michael Prest who runs a company called Petrodel Resources Ltd. Mr Prest, according to the narrator, is a symbol of African Pride and from what I gathered he is among the young men in Africa who are now in the oil industry and his company Petrodel was among the first to venture in oil exploration in Tanzania. In 2008 Prest hired a certain Spanish national David Mestres-Ridge from the Royal Bank of Canada to head Petrodel's exploration business. Mr Ridge was at the time an analyst with the bank but apparently Mr Prest liked him and offered him the job and doubled his salary. According to the conversation Mr Ridge had never set foot on Africa up to that point and whilst he analyzed Tanzania to the bank, he had never been to the Tanzania he was analyzing. Further, it was claimed that Mr Ridge had a growing family and was on the verge of being fired by the bank and so he was saved by Mr Prest. According to the story, once Mr Ridge got his contract, the only thing Mr Prest got from him was trouble. He would be absent from work, he was difficult and apparently because of his continued periods of absence Petrodel management assumed Mr Ridge had a drink problem. The worst was yet to come, what Prest and Petrodel did not know or see coming was that whilst working for and receiving a salary, Mr Ridge was secretly trying to sell off Petrodel's exploration assets at a Bargain price through a certain Mr Hume to a company called Black Marlin. I could not believe this story when I heard it that I had to rush to Google the names. That was when I really got shocked. I read just as I had overheard that Dr mestres is the former MD Petrodel resources and worked with Black Marlin during its 2010 IPO. I also read that Dr Ridge is now the CEO of Swala Energy and guess what? They are focusing on Tanzania in the same areas that Petrodel are in and for which Mr Ridge had blatantly told Mr Prest there was NO VALUE at all! This is a solid story of greed and ingratitude. As a Tanzanian and an African I want to lend my support to Mr Prest. I have read more about him and his company and I admire his drive, effort and his unwavering commitment to the African continent and cause. As for Mr Ridge all I can say is that we are not dummies and we have a very long memory especially when one of ours is cheated. Above all he should not forget the day an African saw him and gave him a CHANCE.