Tundu Lissu flown to Belgium for further treatment

07Jan 2018
Henry Mwangonde
Guardian On Sunday
Tundu Lissu flown to Belgium for further treatment

SINGIDA East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu (Chadema) yesterday left the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya for further treatment in Belgium.

Lissu, who is also president of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), left the hospital at around 8:30am accompanied by his wife, Alicia Magabe.

He was escorted to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by his children, Augustino and Edward, his relatives and various Chadema party leaders.

News about Lissu’s journey spread on social media for the better part of yesterday, with videos showing the opposition chief whip being helped by various Chadema officials to disembark from a vehicle at the airport.

The opposition chief whip was admitted to the hospital for four months after being shot multiple times by unknown assailants on September 7, last year, in Dodoma.

“I thank all the doctors from the Nairobi Hospital and the Dodoma Regional Hospital, as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, for saving my life,” said Lissu while leaving the hospital in Nairobi.

He added: “I am leaving for Belgium for further treatment. The fight will continue when I come back. Many thanks to Kenyans and the government of Kenya for providing me with security while at the hospital for four months.”

He further urged Chadema leaders who showed up at the airport, led by the party’s national chairman, Freeman Mbowe, to continue fighting for people’s rights.

Other party’s leaders who showed up at the airport to escort Lissu included Susan Kiwanga, MP for Mlimba;  Godbless Lema, MP for Arusha Urban; John Heche, MP for Tarime Rural; Rose Kamili (Special Seats) and Anna Gideria (Special Seats).

Efforts to get comment from the party on these new developments proved futile as most of the leaders were in Nairobi and their phones went unanswered on several occasions. The Guardian wanted to know which hospital Lissu would be admitted to in Belgium.

In another development, Chadema secretary general Dr Vicent Mashinji revealed that Chadema and TLS would pay the hospital bills for Lissu’s treatment abroad.

Family spokesperson Alute Mgwai, who is Lissu’s elder brother, said: “I take this opportunity to thank all Kenyans and Tanzanians for their support during this difficult time. We, together, wish him a quick recovery.”

In September, last year, Lissu was flown to the Nairobi hospital after being briefly admitted to Dodoma Regional Hospital after he sustained gun wounds following a gun attack by unknown assailants at his resident in Dodoma.

Lissu has had a series of run-ins with the government and had been arrested at least six times last year, accused of insulting the president and disturbing public order, among other charges. He had previously complained of being "trailed" by a car.

Chadema described the attack on Lissu as the most daring in a long line of incidents that they said amounted to harassment and intimidation of opposition politicians and dissidents in the country.

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