Dodoma. The standoff between the government and Chadema over who is to blame for lack of progress in the investigation of Tundu Lissu’s shooting played itself out again yesterday in Parliament as government accused the main opposition party of failing to produce the key witness in the case.
The two sides have exchanged blame in the past over the matter but Home Affairs deputy minister Hamad Masauni yesterday repeated the government’s position saying investigations into Lissu’s shooting could have advanced significantly had Chadema produced Mr Adam Simon, lawmaker’s driver, for questioning.
Mr Masauni was responding to a question by Ubungo MP Said Kubenea (Chadema) who wanted to know when the government would complete investigations into unsolved incidents including Lissu’s assassination attempt, Absalom Kibanda’s assault of March 2013, Dr Stephen Ulimboka’s kidnapping and torture in June 2012 and the disappearance of Mwananchi Communication Limited journalist Azory Gwanda late last year. “Police investigations depend on a lot of factors including cooperation by the victims. In the case of Tundu Lissu, his party, Chadema, has failed to make his driver available to police for questioning,” Mr Masauni observed.
Mr Lissu has twice addressed the issue of his driver including recently, September 6, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the incident.
“Saying that we have hidden the driver from the police is misleading. The police said they would have sent detectives to Nairobi to question Simon and I but they never showed up,” Mr Lissu told The Citizen in an interview.
Mr Lissu added; “And we did not whisk him away to Nairobi. He was given temporary travelling documents by the government.”
When Dodoma Police authorities urged Chadema to produce the driver soon after Lissu’s shooting on September 7, 2017, Opposition party’s leadership responded by saying that the driver was too shaken to give a meaningful statement and so he was to receive immediate, specialized treatment in Nairobi.
Mr Lissu, Chadema’s MP for Singida East was shot multiple times by unidentified people as he arrived at his Dodoma home from attending a morning parliamentary session.
However, his driver, Simon, escaped unhurt.
Mr Simon is considered by the police as a key witness and they are yet to question him over the incident.
“We believe the driver has first-hand information since he was at the scene,” Mr Masauni said.