Dodoma/Dar es Salaam. A defiant Tundu Lissu yesterday said he will not be perturbed by National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai to strip him of his Singida East parliamentary seat.
Reacting to the news about his dethronment, Mr Lissu said from Belgium that his will would not be broken by what he said were mechanisations to bring him down.
“For now, I will reach out to my lawyers to see what to do but on September 7 this year, I will return as I promised, I will not change my mind,” he said, adding: “What Ndugai has done will only ignite debate.” He spoke on phone.
Mr Lissu refuted claims that parliament was not aware of his whereabouts, reiterating that what was happening was merely a smokescreen. Yesterday, the MP’s main opposition party Chadema said its top organs would meet to discuss the way forward.
Chadema secretary general Vicent Mashinji said the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai, had not been sincere in the manner he handled the Lissu issue.
“Mr Ndugai and his office know where Mr Lissu is. I think it is a mere lack of purpose on the part of the Speaker, a trend that is not so uncommon within the administration, to say the least,” Mr Mashinji told The Citizen.
Mr Tundu Lissu is undergoing treatment in Belgium for injuries he sustained after several gun shots were fired at him in a suspected murder attempt in Dodoma nearly two years ago.
He has since appeared on international media saying he would return home once his safety his guaranteed.
But the Speaker told Parliament yesterday that his office had not been officially informed of the outspoken lawmaker’s progress and whereaabouts.
Mr Ndugai said he had already written to the chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Judge Semistocles Kaijage, informing him that the Singida East constituency had fallen vacant.
He said Section 71 (1) (C) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania directs that a Member of Parliament shall lose his/her seat if he/she misses attending three consecutive parliamentary sittings without permission from the Speaker.
“Mr Tundu Lissu has not been here for close to two years now and I do not have any information regarding his whereabouts….He has not informed me about how he was progressing with treatment and neither has he issued any information to my office through his party,” said Mr Ndugai.
The Speaker also said the MP had not signed and submitted the wealth declaration forms for over two years now, contrary to what the law requires.