Tanzania – The world is watching as Tundu Lissu, Tanzania’s former chief whip of the main opposition party Chadema, returns home on Monday after having been shot by unidentified gunmen 16 times outside his parliamentary residence in 2017.
It took 24 surgeries in Kenya and Belgium to recover from the attack, and now Lissu is coming home to contest against President John Magufuli in the presidential elections in October.
“Two hours before I was shot multiple times President Magufuli made a televised speech saying that those who betray the country when it is waging an economic war do not deserve to survive,” Lissu told media on the eve of his return.
The attack came just weeks after he publicly declared that certain people instructed by the head of the National Intelligence had been stalking him for weeks.
“Given that I had been the main critic of the president’s economic policies and government corruption, and was seen as a traitor by those surrounding the president, it was widely understood that the president was referring to me. Within two hours of his televised statement I was fighting for my life,” said Lisu.
Lissue has written to President Chyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union, asking him to intervene.
“The South African president should use his leverage with the president of Tanzania and seek guarantees for my safety and security, as well as my freedom of movement,” Lissu said.