Tundu Lissu to return from exile for a new chapter

Opposition Chadema Vice Chairman Tundu Lissu on Saturday said that he is ready and willing to return to Tanzania.

What you need to know:

  • Lissu, who was shot 16 times in an assassination attempt in 2017 and has spent most of the years since in Belgium, said he would arrive in Tanzania on January 25.

Dar es Salaam. Chadema’s national Vice Chairman and 2020 General Election Presidential flag bearer, Tundu Lissu, on Friday said that he would soon be coming home to ‘write a new chapter’.

Lissu, who was shot 16 times in an assassination attempt in 2017 and has spent most of the years since in Belgium, said he would arrive in Tanzania on January 25.

It follows President Samia Suluhu Hassan's announcement this month that a ban on political rallies imposed by her hardline predecessor would be lifted in an overture to the  opposition.

Mr Lissu left the country for Belgium in 2020 immediately after the election which President Magufuli won by 84 percent. The 2020 election was, however, marred with allegations over irregularities.

Mr Lissu, yesterday used his New Year greetings to inform Tanzanians that, as fate would have it, he will step on the soil of his country once again on the Wednesday of January 25, 2023, aboard an Etiopian Airlines flight.

“This has been a long and very difficult period in my personal life and in our life as a party and as a nation,” he said.

The former Singida North MP, Tundu Lissu was evacuated to Kenya, after an assassination attempt in Dodoma in September 2017, and later taken from the Nairobi Hospital to Belgium for further treatment.

Mr Lissu was shot multiple times at his house as he was arriving from a parliamentary session. His assailants have never been apprehended.

However, there seems to be a new dawn for the country’s political sphere following the embattled politician’s plan to return to the country, as he says, “... we cannot continue living in exile indefinitely.”

In his speech yesterday, Mr Lissu noted that whatever happens, this year will be a very important year in the history of Tanzania.

“It is a year in which, if we decide with the sincerity of our hearts, we will get a new and democratic constitution, with an independent election system, which cares and protects the rights of the people and which lays a solid foundation for the accountability of our leaders to the people and their representatives,” he said.

He said that President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her party (CCM) plus her government have already publicly promised that they are ready to start the long and difficult journey (to finding a new constitution).

“We are responsible for responding to the President by showing, and demonstrating in action, that we too are ready and prepared for that journey. I personally and our party are ready and prepared for that trip. So I am returning home for the trip,” he explained.

He emphasized that he is coming back for the great work that lies ahead, the work of the new constitution and a new beginning for the nation. “I am returning home to participate in writing the first new page of the ‘365-page book’ for this year 2023.”

“I believe that, with our unity and our love for our country, we will write a good book!”