Dodoma. Singida East MP Tundu Lissu has dared Speaker Job Ndugai to withhold his salary, saying the threat would not shut him down.
He said he will soldier on with his work should the Parliament go ahead to deny him his salary.
The MP was reacting to a statement made in Parliament yesterday by Mr Ndugai, who appeared to nod to an appeal by Geita Rural MP Joseph Msukuma (CCM) to reconsider payment of Mr Lissu’s salary on account of absenteeism.
Mr Lissu said the Speaker’s actions betray the conscience of those he claimed were behind his torment since he escaped an assassination attempt in Dodoma in September 2017.
“Mwalimu Nyerere was sacked from teaching in Pugu Secondary School for political reasons but that did not stop the father of the nation from fighting for independence,” said Mr Lissu from Washington in the US where he is on a lecturing tour.
Earlier, Msukuma spoke on a point of order, asking why the House continued to pay Mr Lissu yet he was disparaging it overseas.
“Lissu is on tour yet here he is shown as sick. When will Parliament stop his salary because he is healed and he continues to tour places abusing Parliament and the government?” he asked. Responding, Mr Ndugai said the matter deserved attention as the opposition MP was neither in his constituency, parliament, on hospital nor in the country.
“I too do not have information on him and he has not written to me as Speaker. There is no letter on his condition yet we continue to pay him,” said Mr Ndugai as CCM members applauded.
“We knew he was in hospital but now we see him around the world and in Msukuma’s words “loitering.” Let me assure you that I will do that which is in my powers,” said Mr Ndugai.
This prompted Rombo MP Joseph Selasini (Chadema), who protested at government’s failure to progress investigation into Lissu’s attempted assassination.
“It isn’t true that just because Mr Lissu and his driver are abroad for treatment the law can’t take its course,” he said.
However, the speaker told Mr Selasini that it wasn’t right to blame the government.
Mr Lissu said he would not lay back and claimed Mr Ndugai’s intentions were premeditated. “I have survived an assassination attempt and I am alive speaking. I was denied my treatment rights illegally but thousands of Tanzanians and other well-wishers offered to treat me.”
“Now they have decided without any legal basis to stop my salary…...those who ensured I do not die from bullets will ensure I do not die of hunger.”