Rostam Aziz in partnership with Ambassador Ferdnand Kamuntu Ruhinda launched the company, Mwananchi Communication Company Limited in May, 1999. Rostam and Ruhinda subsequently joined forces with the Kenya based Nation Media Group (NMG) that is owned by His Highness the Aga Khan, to launch a daily English newspaper The Citizen.
However, they later disagreed with NMG’s ocoverage of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete’s presidential campaign on CCM ticket. Rostam was the campaign manager for Jakaya Kikwete who won the elections and became the fourth president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Rostam and Kikwete are close friends.
Following the disagreement, Rostam sold a large proportion of his stakes in Mwananchi Communication Limited and purchased the stakes held by several prominent journalists, including Jenerali Ulimwengu, Salva Rweyemamu and Dr. Gideon Shoo, in Habari Corporation Limited in 2006. Consequently, Rostam renamed the company, New Habari Corporation (2006) Limited.
Rostam Aziz is also a politician and businessman. At the age of 26, he was elected Member of Parliament for Igunga constituency in Tabora region. He represented Igunga constituency from 1994 until his resignation in 2011. He resigned due to what he called “dirty-politics” within the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Some of the key projects that he pioneered are community health insurance in East Africa under which every house in his constituency was provided with health insurance. He also achieved access to water for every resident in his constituency and Igunga constituency became the first district in the country to have a dispensary in every village and electricity in every ward. He was CCM’s National Treasurer from 2005 to 2007 and of the central Committee from 2000 to 2011 when he resigned from all the positions he held in CCM.
Rostam got start in his family’s trading and then branched out on his own. The family is one of the wealthiest families in East Africa. Their investment range from telecommunications, agriculture, media, mining and port facilitie. The Aziz Group holdings include, among others Caspian Limited, the largest contract mining company in Tanzania, mining contractor to DeBeers, barrick Gold and others, Wembere Hunting Safaris Limited, African Tanzania Limited, and Tanzania Leather Industries Limited.
In June 2018, newspapers reported about Aziz selling his remaining shares in Vodacom Tanzania, the country’s largest mobile phone company in the country, to Vodacom Group of South Africa. In 2014, he already sold 17.2% of Vodacom Tanzania to Vodacom Group of South Africa (US $ 250 million). At that time, Rostam held the shares via Calvary, a Jersey island registered private investment company whole controlled by him.
Mirambo Holding, Aziz family’s investment vehicle
Cavalry Holdings, a Jersey island-registered private investment company wholly controlled by Aziz
Caspian Mining, contractor to DeBeers, barrick Gold and others
Wembere Hunting Safaris Limited
Tanzania Leather Industries Limited
Africa Tanneries Limited
Port of Dar es Salaam
in partnership with Hutchison Wampoa
1994 -2011: represented the Igunga constituency in Tabora Region.
2006-2011: member of the Politburo/Central Committee of CCM
Family & Friends
Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends
The Aziz’s are a fifth generation Tanzanian family of Iranian baloch ancestry.the clan sagari They settled in Tanganika after transiting in Zanzibar, circa 1850. The family initially began farming sisal, rice and sugar cane.
Forbes (July 2018). Tanzanias Former richest man Rostam Aziz to earn more than 200 million from selling vodacom shares. Accessed on Oct 24, 2018.
Accessed on Oct 25, 2018.