Tanzania opposition firebrand says Magufuli's regime is “a skunk that should be isolated”

Tundu called Tanzania “a land of horrors,” saying the government was determined to crush dissent including assassinating government dissents and cited disappearances of critics as a worrying trend.

Speaking in Nairobi during his first press briefing, Mr. Tundu Lissu, accused President John Magufuli’s administration of gross human rights abuses and shutting down democracy space in the East African nation.

“A Kenyan politician, whom I will not name, warned us some years ago that this regime would commit terrible acts against the opposition should it sense defeat. Based on what is happening in my country right now, I can now confirm that he was right,” he told journalists at the hospital on Friday.

Mr. Tundu called Tanzania “a land of horrors,” saying the government was determined to crush dissent by all means including assassinating them and cited disappearances of critics as a worrying trend.

“The attack was purely an assassination attempt by the people in power in Tanzania. It is by God’s grace that I survived,” said Mr Lissu.

“My attackers had no intention of leaving me alive, as evidenced by the use of military grade weapons.”

He further blamed the government for trying to muzzle the media and the recent disappearance of journalist Azory Gwanda.

Mr. Tundu, who has been admitted at Nairobi Hospital for the past four months and still has a bullet lodged in his body added that Tanzanian police were yet to make any arrests nor interview him in an effort to unveil the attackers’ identities.

“We are deeply concerned that the police are yet to make any arrests despite the attack having taken place in a government housing compound guarded by state security officers. It is also puzzling that they were not on duty at the time I was attacked,” he said.

“I still have one bullet just below my spine. Doctors feel it’s not a threat and removing it would be riskier than leaving it there,” he said.

The fiery critic of President Magufuli survived a gruesome attack on September 7, 2017 after his car came under heavy gun attack by unknown assailants who fired several rounds of ammunition into his car near his home in the central city of Dodoma.

He was later flown to Nairobi for specialized treatment where doctors at Nairobi Hospital successfully removed eight bullets from his body after the September 7, 2017 gun attack outside his Dodoma home.

Mr. Tundu disclosed he would be leaving for a European country, which he declined to name, for further medical attention so that he can walk again.

“I will let you know which country I have travelled to as soon as I safely arrive and settle down in my physical rehabilitation programme designed to help me walk again,” he said.

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