Thursday, 7 September 2017

Opposition lawmaker shot in Tanzania’s capital – official

A prominent opposition figure in Tanzania was shot near his home in the capital, a government official said Thursday, in an attack that shocked the East African nation known for its relative peace and stability.

Lawmaker Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party, who recently faced criminal charges after he called President John Magufuli, a dictator, was wounded by an unknown assailant in Dodoma, said Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba.

The minister, who spoke to reporters outside the hospital where Lissu was being treated, said the government would issue a statement after receiving a medical report.

Lissu, one of Tanzania’s most vocal opposition politicians, was shot in the stomach, leg and arm, Dr. Charles James, a regional medical officer, told reporters.

Lissu had appeared in the national assembly earlier Thursday and apparently was being driven home when the attack occurred.

There was no immediate comment from police.

In July, Lissu was criminally charged with using abusive language after he called President John Magufuli a dictator over alleged attacks on the opposition and the media.

Magufuli has faced growing accusations by rights groups and others of being intolerant of criticism since he was elected in 2015. Live transmission of parliamentary debates has stopped, and opposition rallies have been banned until the next election cycle in 2020.

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