Dodoma. Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu has been stripped of his seat, in a surprise announcement by the Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai today, June 28, 2019, in Dodoma.
Mr Ndugai made the announcement shortly after the Prime Minister adjourned the House which has been in session for the last two months debating the 2019/2020 government budget.
He gave the reasons for stripping the Chadema MP and Opposition Chief Whip as absenteeism and reportedly failing to file wealth declaration forms with the National Assembly.
Mr Lissu has been out of the country since September 2017 when he survived an assassination attempt. He was treated in Nairobi and currently in Belgium for specialized rehabilitation.
The speaker told Parliament he had informed the National Electoral Commission of the vacancy to trigger a by-election. He said Mr Lissu’s whereabouts remains unknown, at least to the authority of the Parliament.
“We all know the circumstances that led to Mr Lissu going to seek medical treatment in Nairobi, Kenya but since then we have seen him going around the world holding rallies yet parliament is not informed of his whereabouts,” said the speaker.
He added that the legislator had not taken any steps to inform parliament and, therefore, leaving him with very little choice but to declare the seat vacant.
Lissu becomes the second opposition MP to lose a parliamentary seat over prolonged absence.
In March, 2019, the National Assembly issued a statement to announce the vacancy arguing that Mr Nassari had lost the qualification of being an MP, after missing three sittings since September 2018.
The Arumeru East seat has since been filled by CCM's John Pallangyo who went unopposed after disqualification of other candidates. Chadema boycotted the by-election.