Opposition leader Tundu Lissu this week left Tanzania, stating it was due to security reasons. The leader shared a video of himself and several other diplomats leaving the German ambassador’s residence for the airport. In his video, Mr. Tundu told his Twitter followers he was not running away from Tanzania; instead, he chose to continue to fight for democracy from Belgium.
Mr. Tundu Lissu heads the Chandema political party in Tanzania. The leader returned to the country in July to run for president as Chandema’s choice. But before he returned, he had spent three years in Kenya and Belgium receiving treatment for gunshot wounds. These wounds he received after an attempt on his life in 2017. During the assassination attempt, Mr. Chandema was hit by 16 bullets just outside his residence in Tanzania’s capital Dodom. The opposition leader, however, survived the assassination attempt after receiving treatment.
Threats to Opposition Leader
Last month Tanzania’s elections were concluded. Mr. Lissu was the primary opposition presidential candidate in the disputed general elections. In Tanzania, presidential candidates receive security until the conclusion of elections. When the results of the concluded elections were announced, Mr. Lissu’s protection was withdrawn, and he started receiving death threats.
The opposition leader revealed that he started receiving calls from people who said an order to deal with him once and for all had been made. Hee added that the individuals advised him to run for his dear life. Mr. Chandema listened to these threats and decided to follow these unknown people’s advice. The leader had already survived one assassination attempt in 2017, so he took the callers seriously and left the country.
The individuals who called Mr. Lissu did not identify themselves. Despite the fact, Tundu Lisu believed that the individuals were from Tanzania’s intelligence and security apparatus. All these facts and the numerous death threats prompted the opposition leader’s departure to Belgium. Mr. Lissu is a legal resident of Belgium, and he knew he could continue with the fight there. But before he made his move to Belgium, Tundu sought refuge at the German ambassador’s residence in Dar es Salaam. Mr. Tundu went there citing people had made many threats to his life, and he needed someplace safe to lay low while he made travel arrangements.
Demand for a re-run
When Tundu Lissu lost the election last month, he and his party colleagues demanded a re-run of the poll. They asked for another election because they believed there had been systematic interference, as reported by the United Kingdom and the United States. The police arrested the Chadema party leader and his colleagues after the polls for asking for the re-run. Additionally, the police accused them of planning unlawful protests and sedition. Authorities charged others in the Chadem party with plotting to blow up petrol stations and markets in Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission announced there was no fraud in the country’s election. Furthermore, Tanzania’s government spokesperson announced there was no evidence of threats to opposition leaders. He added that the opposition leaders and members were alleging security threats as a cover-up plan for their election loss.