Tanzanian ex-MP Godbless Lema and his family get asylum in Canada

Thursday December 10 2020
Godbless Lema.

Tanzanian ex-MP Godbless Lema (left) with his family and the Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe (right) in Nairobi shortly before his departure for Canada. PHOTO | COURTESY


Tanzanian ex-MP, Godbless Lema, has flown to Canada with his family after being granted political asylum in the country.

Mr Lema flew out of Nairobi, Kenya, where he has been staying with his wife and three children since fleeing across the border from Tanzania after expressing fears for his life.

His lawyer, George Luchiri Wajackoyah, said the Tanzanian politician was granted political asylum with the intervention of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

“I want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenyan government for being an observer of human rights,” said Prof Wajackoyah.

Besides the UNHCR, Amnesty International and the Kenya Human Rights Group were involved in Mr Lema’s asylum application.

Mr Lema, the former MP for Arusha Urban Constituency, was arrested by Tanzanian authorities together with other politicians in the aftermath of the October 28 elections, but was later released on police bond without charge.


The Chadema party presidential candidate, Tundu Lissu, also sought political asylum in Belgium over fears for his life.