Opposition chief whip Lissu speaks from Nairobi Hospital

Wednesday November 29 2017
Samia lissu

Tanzania's Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan visits fiery opposition chief whip Tundu Lissu at Nairobi Hospital, on 28 November 2017. PHOTO | TPPU


Tanzania's Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Tuesday visited fiery opposition chief whip Tundu Lissu who is admitted at Nairobi Hospital.

Mr Lissu was shot on September 7 in Dodoma by unknown gunmen.

The Vice President made the stopover after representing her boss, President John Magufuli, during the swearing-in ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ms Hassan, who was escorted to the hospital under tight security, spent 15 minutes in the ward with the Singida East MP.

Members of the press were not allowed to join the VP's convoy, which included the Presidential Director of Communication, Grayson Msigwa.

Speaking to The EastAfrican after her visit, Mr Lissu lauded the gesture, calling it a sign of goodwill.


"Ms Hassan told me she was sent by the President and I believe her.

"I am grateful to the Tanzanian head of State for sending her and I believe that it has opened a door for many others who were afraid to visit me due to how they thought he would react," Mr Lissu said.

Ms Hassan becomes the top most official from Tanzania to visit Mr Lissu three months after the attack.

"Thorough" investigations

He asked the President Magufuli to order "thorough" investigations into his shooting.

The legislator expressed his disappointment in the failure of the Speaker of Parliament, the Clerk of the Assembly, Cabinet ministers and security officers to visit him.

He further asked Parliament to ensure his right to sponsored treatment is respected.

"As an MP, I'm not asking for any favours, but simply that my rights are respected and granted as per the law," he said.


On a positive note, he said he is now able to feed himself, move around and hold objects, which he was not able to do after the incident.

"I have received tremendous support including prayers, goodwill messages and gestures and even blood donations from people in Kenya and Tanzania," he said.

Mr Lissu was also full of praise for his wife, Ms Alice Magabe, whom he termed "his rock and pillar of support and encouragement".

He told The EastAfrican that he would be celebrating 20 years of marriage to Alice on Wednesday November 29.

On her part, Ms Magabe said the shooting was the hardest challenge they had ever faced in their marriage. Mr Lissu, however, vowed to keep fighting for the Tanzanian people's rights.

Run-ins with Magufuli govt

Mr Lissu, who is also head of the Tanganyika Law Society, has had a series of run-ins with President John Magufuli's administration, and has been arrested at least six times this year alone, accused of insulting the Head of State and disturbing public order, among other charges.

His recent arrest was in August after an exposé that a Bombardier Q400 aircraft bought by Tanzania had been seized in Canada.

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