Muhongo becomes the third member of the Tanzanian cabinet to leave. The attorney general had earlier resigned in December, while the minister of land was sacked.
According to the lawmakers, senior government officials fraudulently authorised the transfer of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company in 2013. The money was in an escrow account held jointly by state power company TANESCO and independent power producer IPTL but was transferred into the account of IPTL’s owner, Pan Africa Power (PAP).
Speaking at a news conference to announce his resignation, Muhongo said that he decided to resign in order to “bring a conclusion to this never-ending debate so the nation can focus on other important issues for national development.” He insisted that: “I did not do anything wrong and I did not steal any money. My record speaks for itself, I am incorruptible.”
A group of 12 international donors have said that they will not pay outstanding budget support pledges, of almost $500 million until the government responds to the allegations appropriately and publishes its findings. For a nation which is dependent on aid, such a threat is dire.
Following the resignation, President Kikwete announced a cabinet reshuffle.