Wounded Tanzania Opposition Leader Flown to Belgium

Tanzanian opposition lawmaker Tundu Lissu, a fierce critic of President John Magufuli’s government was flown to Belgium on Saturday to undergo further treatment after he was shot and wounded in September, 2017.

Lissu, also the president of Tanganyika Law Society has been recapitulating at Nairobi hospital. He was escorted to an air ambulance at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by his children and members of the opposition Chama Cha Demokorasia na Maendeleo (Chadema)

“The fight will continue when I am back. I am thankful to the government of Kenya who provided me with security while I was hospitalized here,” he said.

Lissu was shot on September 7, 2017 in the administrative capital Dodoma by unknown gunmen. The opposition has termed it an attempted political assassination.

The Chadema Chief whip told Financial Times last November that seconds after two armed men leapt from a car that had trailed him for three weeks, he was being thrown to the floor by his driver as they sought to survive a hail of bullets.

“All hell broke loose,” he said adding that “I have been told, because I couldn’t count, that 38 bullets hit my car and out of those something like 16 hit me.”

He blames president John Magufuli, alleging that it is evidence of what the opposition leader describes as a campaign to turn “the country into a dictatorship”. “He [Magufuli] wants to crush the political parties, crush the press, crush organised civil society and the trade union and silence the church.”

Assassinations are rare in the East African nation and the president described the attack on Lissu as “barbaric”. The police have announced no progress in the investigation despite the attack taking place in a ​compound that Lissu says was equipped with CCTV.

Tanzania government spokesperson Hassan Abbas said the allegations are “misplaced”. “If anyone, including Lissu, has any further evidence let him share [it] with investigators.”

“Tanzania is known for its unmatched peaceful and democratic political processes which are conducted according to the laws.” he said.