Chadema supporters throng airport to welcome Lissu

28Jul 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Chadema supporters throng airport to welcome Lissu

​​​​​​​HUNDREDS of the main opposition Chadema yesterday thronged the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) to welcome the party’s Vice Chairman, Tundu Lissu who had been living in Belgium since he was shot multiple times by suspected assailants three years ago.

Chadema followers were seen in party attires while chanting and waving party flags as they waited for the arrival of the politician who collected the party’s forms for nomination as candidate for presidency in the General Election slated for late October this year.

The former Singida East MP had been undergoing treatment in Belgium following several gunshots he received while in Dodoma in September, 2017.

Prior to his arrival, there have been verbal exchanges between the police force and Chadema, with the former warning the latter against mobilizing people to gather at JNIA with the aim of cheering Lissu’s arrival.

“The law requires anyone who wants to mobilize gatherings to notify the police force 48 hours in advance. Chadema wants to organise a country-wide gathering on Monday to cheer Lissu, but they have not followed proper procedures,” said the force’s spokesperson David Misime.

Police warned against any assembly at the airport for the purpose of welcoming Lissu, who is also one of the presidential aspirants in the forthcoming general elections if he wins the party’s nomination for the presidential race.

However, hundreds of the opposition party supporters flocked at the JNIA on Monday afternoon as they sought to cheer the homecoming of their leader who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in 2017.

In contrary, police allowed them in and contrary to widely-held expectations. There were no any form of confrontation between the opposition party supporters and the law enforcing organs.

The opposition party leaders, Outgoing Arusha Urban Member of Parliament, Godless Lema, Peter Msigwa (Iringa Urban), Joseph Haule (Mikumi)and former Dar es Salaam City Mayor Isaya Mwita hailed the police force for what they termed as ‘wisdom’.

Lema said: “I represented other MPs in escorting Lissu to Nairobi after a failed assassination attempt. The situation was terrible. It is a blessing to welcome him back as we witness him walking on his feet.”

After a failed assassination attempt in 2017, Lissu was airlifted from Dodoma to a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya before he was transferred to Belgium for specialized treatment.

The outspoken politician doubles as former Tanganyika Law society (TLS) and ex-Chadema's head for the Legal Affairs department. Through his agent, Lissu was the first cadre of the main opposition party to pick up presidential nomination forms.

He is among 11 cadres who submitted letters expressing their intention of seeking nomination to run for the Union presidency. Others are Isaya Mwita, Dr Maryrose Majige, Lazaro Nyalandu, Gasper Mwanalyela, Neo Simba, Opiyo Nalo, Leonard Manyama and Shaban Msafiri.

On June 8, Lissu outlined his priorities if elected to the top government position promising to reform the economy, strengthen defence and security, promote multiparty democracy and build consensus.

He said taxation systems would be reformed to reduce lists of tax that have adversely affected businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Lissu said defence and security organs should become real protectors of the constitution, human rights and freedom of citizens.