By Shout-Africa.com Correspondent, Dar es Salaam – The Deputy Minister of Infrastructure in the Tanzanian government of President Jakaya Kikwete, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe has been flown to India after suffering from a mysterious skin disease that is believed to be an effect of poisonous infection. Dr. Mwakyembe a professional lawyer and former senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam before venturing into politics, is known for his aggressive stance against greedy politicians.
Minister Mwakyembe came to the centre stage of politics after he chaired a Parliamentary Select Committee in 2008 that investigated the Richmond scandal, a purported US energy firm that was dubiously awarded a USD 172 million emergency power generation contract and failed to deliver. The result of the Committee forced the resignation of the then Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa and two Cabinet Ministers, Nazir Karamagi and Dr. Ibrahim Msabaha for their role in the awarding of the contract, whose process also violated local procurement rules.
Dr. Mwakyembe and several of his team members in the Committee at different time lamented of threats to their lives. In 2010 he was involved in a car accident which he said was carefully plan by people whose motive could not find God’s favourable thoughts. Early this year he lamented that some police officers and member of the security organs were involved in a plan organized by Somali hired Al Shaabab assassins to kill him.
Quoted by a local newspaper in a telephone interview, Dr. Mwakyembe’s wife, Linah Mwakyembe, said the Minister according to his doctor, was suffering from a skin disease scientifically known as Exfoliative Dermatitis the cause of which was still not to be established. An MP close to Dr. Mwakyembe however hinted to the press that some clinical investigations have revealed a slow reacting poison.
President Kikwete visited the Minister at his home in Dar es Salaam over the week end to wish him well and advised for an abroad treatment. At Julius Nyerere International Airport several CCM and government leaders flanked him however journalists were surprised to see that the Minister was taken to the Airport by using the ruling party, CCM’s Publicity Secretary, Nape Nnauye’s car. At the VIP lounge the Minister of Infrastructure, Dr. John Magufuli.