Dar es Salaam. People who stood surety for the former Singida East MP Tundu Lissu yesterday asked a Dar es Salaam court to issue an arrest warrant against the former lawmaker over failure to show up in court.
Mr Lissu is undergoing treatment and rehabilitation in Belgium after he was hit sixteen times in a failed assassination attempt in 2017 in the capital Dodoma.
Since then, he has not shown up in court to attend a sedition case he face.
Yesterday, Robert Katula and Ibrahimu Kipepe asked the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court to issue arrest warrant for the MP because they have failed to trace him. They also asked the court to withdraw the surity bond for Mr Lissu.
“I only learnt that Mr Lissu was airlifted to Nairobi after he was attacked in his Dodoma residence but as one of his sureties I wasn’t officially informed,” said Mr Katula.
Mr Katula claimed they have made several attempts to get Lissu but to no avail. For that the two asked the court to find Mr Lissu so that the case could proceed.
“We even wrote to Chadema chairman Mr Freeman Mbowe asking for his support to get Lissu but he told us that he was consulting party lawyers, he never get back to us,” said Mr Kitula.
State attorney Silvia Mitanto objected to the plea, arguing it was the responsibility of sureties to make sure the accused person appeared in court.
Resident magistrate Mr Thomas Simba sided with the state lawyer and turned down the request. He ordered the sureties to make sure that Mr Lissu appears before the court when the case against him comes for hearing on February 20.
Mr Lissu and three other co-accused are facing seditious case. The other co-accused are editors of the Mawio newspaper, Mr Simon Mkina and Jabir Idrisa and the director of Jamana Printers Mr Ismael Mehboob. It was alleged that between January 12 and 14, 2016 in Dar es Salaam, Mr Jabir Idris, Mr Simon Mkina and Mr Tundu Lissu published a story with the headline “Violence coming to Zanzibar”, which prosecutors allege fuelled hate among the people of Zanzibar.
Mr Mehboob is accused of printing the Mawio newspaper on January 13, 2016 at his printing house located in Ilala, which contained seditious material.