“Shall we shan’t we, pay Dowans?”
Chadema plotting new war front over Dowans
Saturday, 08 October 2011
By Sylivester Ernest
The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. The Dowans controversy has refused to die, with the opposition Chadema now planning a new move to block award of more than Sh100 billion (at current exchange rates) in compensation to the power firm.
Chadema announced yesterday a resolve to resume countrywide demonstrations to oppose government honouring the Sh110 billion compensation to Dowans, following a power supply dispute with the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).
It has given the government a one-month ultimatum to cancel its pledge to pay the money, and prosecute those behind the controversial emergency power supply deal, or else face “throngs of protesters on the road endlessly.”
Payment of the compensation has become imminent after the High Court rejected a petition challenging honouring the award, saying it is lawful according to the contract in dispute. Nevertheless Tanesco has filed a notice of an intention to appeal against the High Court judgment.
In his ruling, High Court Judge Emilian Mushi said it would be improper for the court to interfere with the findings of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which gave Dowans the award, adding that the ICC addressed the issue adequately. He said: “…the ICC’s final award filed in this court, be formally registered and should be a decree of this court and enforceable as such.”
But Chadema yesterday remained adamant, with its director for Foreign Affairs, Mr John Mnyika, stating: “We want all those behind the Richmond and Dowans contracts prosecuted and their properties confiscated for economic sabotage…there’s no way this money will be paid, we don’t agree.”
Mr Mnyika said his party would closely follow developments regarding the award, and if the government failed to stop the payment, Chadema would resort to “mass power.”
He said the party was not ready to see money from the public coffers used to settle a claim arising from a controversial deal, and instead it (the money) should come from the pockets of those who led to breach of the contract.
Mr Mnyika, who is also the MP for Ubungo and shadow minister for Energy and Minerals, said the government knew the culprits of the deal and it was surprising they had not been arrested.
The Special Parliamentary Committee that investigated the Richmond saga, he said, had mentioned all the people to be held accountable.
When contacted, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliament), Mr William Lukuvi, declined to comment and directed this paper to the officials of the ministry of Energy and Minerals who, nevertheless, could also not be reached.
The Chadema utterances add to a growing opposition against implementation of the ICC award, despite clearance from the High Court about a fortnight ago.
ICC had in November last year awarded Dowans Holdings SA (Costa Rica) and Dowans Tanzania Limited $65.8 million for wrongful termination of a power generation contract in 2008.Currently the figure translates to about Sh100 billion.