Tanzania Opposition Leader labels attack ‘assassination attempt’

Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu – who was shot by unknown attackers four months ago – has said he believes it was an assassination attempt.

Speaking from the Nairobi hospital where he is recovering, he hit out at President John Magufuli’s government, terming it as dictatorial.

He told the BBC’s Victor Kenani he called what happened to him an “assassination attempt”.

Mr Lissu added:

Politics, particularly our kind of politics, is dangerous. For 25 years, we were used to peaceful politics, we were used to politics where your argument was answered by counter-arguments. Now our arguments are answered not by counter-arguments, but by a hail of gunfire.”

Mr Lissu said he would be lying if he claimed to feel safe returning home, accusing the country of becoming a “very dangerous place”. It has become a place where a journalist is abducted and they disappear. It has become a place where people are murdered, they are shot dead, their hands and feet are tied and they are dumped into the sea and washed onto the beaches.

 We have become no different from those odious military dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s.”

It is not known who carried out the attack.

However, the government has denied any part in the shooting.

President Magufuli has previously described the attack on the opposition politician as “barbaric”, while government spokesman Hassan Abbas, a told the UK’s Financial Times in November that his allegations of assassination were “misplaced”.

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