He introduced he could be returning after President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban on political rallies imposed by her predecessor John Magufuli, whose hardline rule stifled the opposition and free speech within the East African nation.
“With the lifting of the illegal ban on political activity, it’s now time to return home & get back to work!” Lissu, of the principle opposition Chadema occasion, mentioned on Twitter saying his homecoming plans.
It is now official: I will be kissing Tanzanian soil as soon as once more on Wed. 25 Jan., 2023, at 13:35 hrs native time. I will arrive aboard Ethiopian Airways #ET805 from Addis Ababa. With the lifting of the unlawful ban on political exercise, it is now time to return residence & get again to work! pic.twitter.com/wykoqYzdxA
— Tundu Antiphas Lissu (@TunduALissu) January 18, 2023
A fiercely outspoken critic of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) occasion, Lissu was final in Tanzania in 2020 to contest the October election in opposition to Magufuli, who died simply 5 months after successful his second time period.
Magufuli’s victory – with an unbelievable 84 % of the vote – was hotly disputed and the opposition referred to as for protests.
Instantly after the election, Lissu mentioned he began receiving loss of life threats and was arrested however sought refuge with overseas diplomats earlier than he ultimately fled the nation.
‘Ripped apart’ by bullets
Lissu walks with a slight limp after being shot 16 instances in a 2017 assault he believes was politically motivated, requiring virtually 20 surgical procedures.
He had already been arrested six instances that yr, after which, in September, as he pulled up outdoors his home in Dodoma, gunmen sprayed his automotive with bullets.
“You have to be aware of the fact that… all my limbs, my legs, my waist, my arms, my stomach were basically ripped apart by 16 bullet shots and therefore to mend me, to put me back on my feet, took a long time,” Lissu informed AFP earlier than the 2020 election.
Lissu was born in 1968 in a small village referred to as Mahambe within the central area of Singida, the place he helped his household farm and took care of his father’s cattle as a younger boy whereas attending major college.
It was whereas listening to radio programmes on present affairs and studying voraciously that Lissu first acquired a style for politics.
He studied legislation on the College of Dar es Salaam and shortly plunged into human rights and environmental legislation.
Umati wa wananchi na wanachama wa Chadema wamejitokeza kumpokea Makamu Mwenyekiti (Bara) Mhe. @TunduALissu. Msafara wake sasa unaelekea uwanja wa Bulyaga, ambapo utafanyika mkutano wa hadhara. pic.twitter.com/svFGsT5Q53
— CHADEMA Tanzania (@ChademaTz) January 25, 2023
‘Not afraid of anybody’
He labored from 1999-2009 for the Attorneys Environmental Motion Group (LEAT), combating for the rights of poor, rural communities, whether or not in opposition to industrial shrimp farming or overseas gold mining firms.
He additionally labored on environmental points between 1999 and 2002 for the Washington DC-based World Assets Institute (WRI).
Peter Veit of the WRI, who has identified Lissu for about three a long time, described him as a fearless, uncompromising advocate for his trigger.
“He’s not afraid of anybody. He calls a spade a spade, and he gets in trouble,” Veit informed AFP.
“He is such an asset for Tanzania… He is so passionate about his home and his country and trying to get things right in Tanzania, making sure there’s an honest, accountable democratic system in place.”
Lissu’s activism led him into politics and he was elected as a member of parliament in 2010, working his method as much as being quantity two in Chadema.
Whereas he was arrested beneath the earlier authorities over his mining activism, it was after Magufuli’s election that he grew to become much more vocal, slamming the president as a dictator and denouncing a local weather of worry.
“President Samia Suluhu Hassan, through her government and party, has shown they are ready for a new journey. We need to demonstrate that we are also ready for that,” Lissu mentioned final week.
“I am coming home for the new beginning of our nation.”