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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Lissu tables demands before returning home

By The Frontier Post Reporter and Agencies

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Tanzania’s exiled opposition leader Tundu Lissu has issued a set of demands to be met before he sets foot back in the country, indicating an existing mistrust with the government.

Lissu, who ran against late President Pombe Magufuli and came a distant second in last year’s polls, says the case surrounding his assassination attempt should be dealt with.

The Chadema vice chairman (Mainland) demanded the government’s assurance on his security, the release of political prisoners jailed during Magufuli’s time and the return of the car he was riding in when gunmen sprayed it with 16 bullets in Dodoma in 2017.

The former Singida East lawmaker survived an attempt on his life, recovering in hospitals in Kenya and Belgium for months.

The police have never arrested or prosecuted anyone relating to the incident.

He returned to Tanzania last year to run for President but was met with frequent bans on his rallies and arrest of party members and followers.

He rejected results that declared Magufuli winner with 84.3 per cent of the vote, the highest since Tanzania began multiparty democracy in 1995.

Lissu also wants the government to reimburse him treatment expenses, payment of his gratuity as an ex-MP as well as the dropping of cases against him.

“I want to know who my assailants were and how safe I will be if I returned to Tanzania,” said Lissu from Belgium on Thursday.

“I want to know, too, whether my cases will continue or if I will be free to play politics. What about my violated rights? You know I have never been paid my gratuity as an MP.”

“Why are they detaining my car and yet there is no case or ongoing investigation done since I was attacked?”

The Chadema leader had been stripped of the Singida East seat while receiving treatment in Belgium after the Tanzanian Parliamentary Speaker, Job Ndugai, argued he had been absent without official permission.

After gunmen raided his car on September 7, 2017, Lissu was airlifted to Nairobi Hospital where he received treatment before being moved to Belgium for specialized care.

The case has been pending with no progress since.

On Thursday, Tanzania Police Force spokesman David Misime said the investigation stalled after he refused to respond to police summons to cooperate.

“He isn’t liable to arrest … But he is supposed to report and provide explanation.”

National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai wasn’t available to speak on the matter, however, he is on record, in the past, insisting that Mr Lissu has been paid in full.

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