Arusha. Police here are investigating reports of a shooting at the residence of outspoken Arumeru East MP (Chadema) Joshua Nassari on Friday night.
Regional Police commander Charles Mkumbo confirmed yesterday that the matter had been reported and that it was being investigated.
“We’re still probing who was behind the shooting. You will be updated in due course,” he told anxious reporters following up the incident.
No injuries have been reported during the shootout which happened shortly after 11 pm at Mr Nassari’s house at Nkoanenkori Village in Arumeru District.
However, one of his dogs barking after the gunfire rented air, was shot dead by gunmen who are yet to be identified.
The opposition MP said the assailants did not get access into his main house but started shooting randomly upon reaching the compound of the residence.
He said he suspected those behind the shooting could have been trailing him as they stormed his place of domicile shortly after he arrived. The 32-year-old MP had been attending a Youth Conference for the East African Community (EAC) partner states at MS-TCDC at the nearby Usa River Township.
The conference, which started on Monday, came to a close late on Friday. Mr Nassari was one of the young politicians invited to speak. “These people must have been trailing me because I have not been at home for four consecutive days only to be attacked upon my return,” he said.
The vocal opposition leader said the incident could be politically motivated given the recent political developments in his constituency.
The alleged shooting not only happened two months after exposing video clips implicating some local leaders and government officials in Arusha but shortly after last week’s civic polls.
“I had been warned there were some people trailing me even before the by-election,” he told journalists while in the company of Arusha Urban (Chadema) MP Godbless Lema. Accounts from the area said the legislator returned to his home from MS-TCDC, a training centre supported by the Danish, between 11pm and midnight.
Within half an hour, he heard a gun fire from what he said was within the compound of his residence.
He said in response to the alleged attack, he fired four shots using his firearm to scare away the mysterious gunmen.
The incident has also come only three months after another Chadema MP (Singida East) Tundu Lissu was attacked outside his home in Dodoma.
Mr Lissu, who is also the Opposition party’s Chief Whip and President of Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) is currently nursing injuries in a Nairobi hospital.
Residents of Arumeru constituency have expressed their concern over the incident and have appealed to the police to track down those behind the alleged shooting.
One of them who identified himself as Geoffrey Joshua said he rushed to the area after hearing of the gunshots only to find one of the two dogs guarding the house dead.
The acting Chadema secretary for Arusha region, Mr Elisa Mungure, said Mr Nassari had received death threats since he exposed corrupt practices which wooed opposition civic leaders in the area to the ruling party.
He and other Chadema leaders claimed to have evidence that the said officials were compromised before they defected.
Mr Nassari himself claimed he was ready to hand over the evidence to President John Magufuli because the Head of State has powers to order investigations on the issue.
Scores of Chadema leaders and followers in Arusha announced they were quitting the main opposition party after President Magufuli ended his address at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium on September 23 this year.