Tanzania: Magufuli’s challenger seeks refuge at German Ambassador’s residence


Tanzanian opposition leader, Tundu Lissu has said he took refuge at the German ambassador’s residence in the capital Dar es Salaam after receiving death threats following a disputed election.

Lissu, who led the opposition party CHADEMA to challenge President John Magufuli in the October 28 election, on Saturday said that immediately after the vote he started getting death threats.

“I received two unknown calls whose callers told me they will deal with me once and for all,” Reuters quoted Lissu.

“We are waiting for the embassy to negotiate with the government for us to leave (to go) abroad. I cannot leave in a normal way without security assurance.” Tundu Lissu reportedly added.

Police however said there were no threats against Lissu and were unaware of him seeking refuge, adding that he had been provided with police security in the run-up to the elections.

“He finished the campaign safely and he went to vote safely. He is safe and (from) what we know there is no threat against him. Lissu is just creating things. There are no threats against him,” Dar es Salaam police special zone commander Lazaro Mambosasa said.

Lissu was shot 16 times and serious wounded in 2017 in what remains an unsolved case.

He and other opposition leaders including CHADEMA chairman Freeman Mbowe and ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe were briefly arrested this week after calling for demonstrations to demand a re-run of the election, saying it was riddled with fraud. They also want a new independent electoral commission.

Police said the demonstrations were illegal and were meant to cause violence.

Magufuli, who was sworn in on Thursday for his final five-year term, has promised to work with his rivals.

He is praised by some for pushing through big-impact infrastructure projects and a sweeping anti-corruption campaign.

Magufuli’s critics accuse his government of intolerance and authoritarianism, including a crackdown on critical voices, closure of some media outlets and preventing opposition rallies.



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