US condemns Lissu shooting

09Sep 2017
Crispin Gerald
The Guardian
US condemns Lissu shooting
  • “We condemn this senseless act of violence …Acting US ambassador to Tanzania

THE United States yesterday condemned the Thursday shooting of Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu and the President of the Tanganyika Law Society saying it was deeply saddened by attack.

“We condemn this senseless act of violence and join Tanzanians in expressing our sincere hopes for his full and speedy recovery,” the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam said in a statement.

Lissu was shot on Thursday around as he approached his Area D residence in Dodoma after he had attended the morning parliamentary session.

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) also joined the US in condemning Lissu’s shooting, saying it was against the law and a violation of human rights.

A statement signed by Commission’s chairman Bahame Nyanduga said the incident was tarnishing the image of the country.

“We call for the security organs to quickly investigate this incident and bring the criminals to justice,” the statement said noting that if the criminals involved are apprehended, such evil acts will not come about.

Speaking with reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the MP’s CHADEMA secretariat said security organs need to probe the incident so that the assailants face justice.

CHADEMA Secretary General Dr Vincent Mashinji asked for good governance to reign if people are to live in peace saying party leaders will meet to discuss the security situation at all levels.

“What has just happened to one of our leading members will not discourage us or slow down our efforts to demand democratic rights,” he said.

Sharing his experience, former premier and Chadema coastal zone chairman Frederick Sumaye said the role of every responsible government was the security of citizens.

"If the government was more responsible to citizens, such things would not take place,” he said.

Sumaye said the government needs to act because failure to do that it will indicate there is weakness with the country’s organs for maintaining law and order.

Meanwhile, the Police Force yesterday said it had deployed a special investigative team to probe Lissu’s attack, with the MP airlifted to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro said the police were taking the incident very seriously and will ensure they get the assailants.

“A police task force from its headquarters has joined other teams in Dodoma for investigations,” he said.

Sirro warned people posting misleading information including videos, pictures and texts in social networks concerning the incident saying the police will act swiftly as such conduct is contrary to the law.

The IGP said all information posted on the social media in view of the cruel act committed by assailants against Lissu was being investigated and those making accusations would face the full wrath of the law.

“We should all stay calm as the police investigate the incident. We shall provide the public with information upon completion of investigations,” he said, adding that the public should come forth to provide useful information that will help to arrest the culprits.

President John Magufuli also condemned the attack on Thursday and ordered security forces to launch a swift criminal investigation.

   “I have been saddened by reports of the shooting of Tundu Lissu. I pray for his quick recovery,” said Magufuli.

 Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’ Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, called for thorough investigation into the shooting.

   “This cowardly attack on one of Tanzania’s most fearless and prominent politician raises concerns about the safety of all dissident voices in the country, at a time when space for dissent is quickly shrinking,” she said in a statement.

Isaac Okero, the President of the Law Society of Kenya, said in a message to the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) that he had received with great shock and sorrow news of the attempted assassination of Lissu.

“This heinous act of violence against one of East Africa’s foremost defender of the rule of law and constitutional order has outraged members of Kenya’s legal fraternity and no doubt is shocking to all members of the bar within the region, in Africa and throughout the world,” said Okero.

He added: “The evil persons responsible for this senseless crime must be apprehended and must face the full force of the law.”

Lissu’s courage in speaking out against injustice has been laudable and inspirational, said Okero.

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