Dar es Salaam. Chadema’s Union presidential candidate Tundu Lissu yesterday said he will not seek revenge against those behind the attempt to assassinate him in Dodoma in 2017.
The former Singida East MP returned home two weeks ago after spending nearly three years outside the country, where he underwent treatment after he was shot multiple times and seriously wounded on September 7, 2017.
Speaking during thanksgiving mass at Saint Rita of Cascia Parish in Ikungi, Singida Region, Mr Lissu said it was by God’s grace that he was still alive.
“Our God is good! Our God is good! Under normal circumstances, I was not expected to be alive. If I undress here, all of you will run away. This body, with the possible exception of the head and the face, is a map of scars from bullets and doctors’ scissors. This body has uncountable steel braces,” he said.
Mr Lissu added that he would not let anybody go through a similar ordeal.
“I was seriously wounded, my brothers and sisters. The first two weeks after the attack, I experienced pain that I cannot describe. It was as if my entire body was on fire. I promise not to pass nobody through a similar experience regardless of the extent they have wronged me.”
He thanked Tanzanians of all beliefs for their prayers after he was shot in Dodoma, and while he was undergoing treatment in Kenya and Belgium.
“I would like to thank all those who prayed for me when I was critically ill until I recovered. Our God is truly able. He heard your prayers, and here I am today fit enough to undertake future endeavours” he said.
Mr Lissu, accompanied by his running mate, Mr Salum, Mwalimu, yesterday collected guarantors’ signatures from party members in Ikungi and Ilongero in Singida East and Singida North constituencies, respectively.
On Sunday, Chadema deputy secretary-general (Tanzania Mainland) Benson Kigaila named party members nominated to seek election in 163 Tanzania Mainland constituencies.
He said the party was still working to nominate candidates who would seek election in 51 and 50 constituencies in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, respectively. But The Citizen was reliably informed that preferential ballots would be repeated in a number of constituencies due to irregularities and objections raised by some candidates, while the party would not field candidates in several other constituencies in favour of ACT-Wazalendo.
Chadema’s protocol, communications and foreign affairs director, Mr Jon Mrema, said constituencies where repeat ballots would be held were in Kagera and Arusha regions.
He neither named the constituencies, nor revealed reasons behind the decision to hold the votes afresh.
“The secretary-general will state when the repeat ballots will be held and the reasons for doing so,” he told The Citizen by telephone.
Dar es Salaam constituencies for which the party had still not named candidates were Kibamba, Mbagala and Ilala. No decision had yet been made with regard to Arumeru West and Karagwe constituencies in Arusha and Kagera regions, respectively.
Mr Mrema said over 40 appeals were lodged with the Central Committee (CC), adding that they had all been heard.
“Party lawyers are now drafting the verdicts, which will possibly be announced today (yesterday), or tomorrow (today). We are speeding up the process to enable our candidates to collect nomination forms on August 12,” he added.
Earlier yesterday, Kibamba Ward secretary Desderi Magesa led his supporters to the party’s constituency office to get clarification on the stalemate in the area.
Kibamba Constituency acting secretary Fulgence Bwire said he had asked Mr Magesa to be patient as the CC was finalising the approval of the names of candidates in line with the party’s constitution.
“The names of the remaining candidates will hopefully be released today (yesterday) or tomorrow (today). It should, however, be noted that the results of preferential ballots are not final.
“I appeal to members to fully support the candidate who will be approved to run in this constituency,” Mr Bwire said.
Former Foreign Affairs minister and ACT-Wazalendo Union presidential candidate Bernard Membe on Sunday said he would not emulate former prime ministers Edward Lowassa and Frederick Sumaye, who quit CCM and joined Chadema before trooping back to the ruling party.
He made the remarks at the party’s Vuga offices in Unguja in the presence of his running mate, Prof Omar Fakih Hamad, and Zanzibar presidential candidate Seif Shariff Hamad.
“The former prime ministers left CCM of their own volition, while I was expelled like my colleagues here (Mr Hamad, who was kicked out of CCM, and party leader Zitto Kabwe, who was expelled from Chadema),” he said.
Mr Membe added, “The two have privileges as former premiers, including allowances, vehicles, treatment and many others, which I don’t have. It was easier for them to return to CCM in order to protect their interests.”
ACT-Wazalendo information, ideology and publicity secretary Salim Bimani said the party’s presidential candidates were today expected to be introduced in Pemba.
“After arriving at Chakechake Airport at 9.30am, their convoy, led by secretary general Ado Shaibu, will be received at Chanjaani, and will proceed to our coordination offices in Pemba,” he said.
More collect nomination forms
National Electoral Commission (NEC) chairman Semistocles Kaijage yesterday handed over presidential nomination forms to Chama cha Ukombozi wa Umma (Chaumma) chairman Hashim Rungwe and Khalfan Mohamed Mazrui of the Union for Multiparty Democracy (UMD), taking the number of aspirants who had picked up the documents so far to 12.