Tanzania's Tundu Lissu speaks out on gun attack - Daily Nation
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Tanzania opposition whip claims gun attack was assassination attempt

Friday January 5 2018

Tundu Lissu

Tanzanian Chief Whip Tundu Lissu addresses journalists at the Nairobi Hospital on January 5, 2018. He was moved to a Belgian hospital. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Tanzanian opposition Chief Whip Tundu Lissu still has a bullet lodged in his body after a gun attack outside his Dodoma home in September last year.

Speaking to journalists at Nairobi Hospital where he has been admitted to, Mr Lissu termed his attack an assassination attempt.

"The attack on me was purely an assassination attempt by the people in power in Tanzania. It is by God's grace that I survived," he said.

He said the unknown assailants used military grade weapons ensure he did not survive.

MILITARY

"My attackers had no intention of leaving me alive as evidenced by the use of military grade weapons in the attempt on my life," he said.

He said doctors had so far removed eight bullets from his body, saying there was one more bullet lodged in his body.

“I still have one bullet lodged just below my spine. Doctors feel it's not a threat to me and believe it would be risky to remove it," he said.

He asked the international community to pile pressure on President John Magufuli's government over its human rights record.

"The international community needs to condemn the spate of arrests, disappearances and killings of government critics that have characterised the Magufuli regime," he said.

JOURNALIST

Mr Lissu hit out at the government's unwillingness to allow criticism of its policies, saying the disappearance of Mwananchi Communication s journalist Azory Gwanda was a worrying trend in the attempt to muzzle free press in the country.

"Despite the disappearance of the journalist, no attempt has been made by the State machinery to trace his whereabouts," he said.

The Singida East MP accused the government of failing in its constitutional mandate to protect its citizens and instead turning on them to harass, arrest and kill critics.

"A government that sends assassins to target politicians for having contrary views should be condemned by the international community," he said.

Mr Lissu warned that Tanzania was "fast sliding down a dark road to dictatorship", saying it was time for concerted efforts by the global community to condemn the government's human rights record.