Tanzania opposition chief Tundu Lissu under investigations

Tanzania opposition chief Tundu Lissu under investigations

Police in Tanzania have launched an investigation into opposition leader Tundu Lissu after his brief arrest.

Lissu and other Chadema Party members were arrested on Sunday, September 10 on accusations of illegal gathering.

They were released later that evening.

At the time of their arrest, Lissu and other members of Chadema – Tanzania’s biggest opposition party – were enroute to Ngorongoro for a political rally.

Ngorongoro politics

The East Africa country’s government is insisting on relocating the Maasai pastoralists from the Ngorongoro conservation area.

Chadema is siding with the Maasai’s in protesting against the move.

“Investigation is still ongoing. We will move ahead with other legal steps after completing the investigation,” senior police official Justine Masejo says.

Lissu returned to Tanzania in January this year after years in exile following an assassination attempt in 2017.

Tanzanian opposition stalwart Tundu Lissu (L) reacts to supporters upon his return after about five years in exile, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam on January 25, 2023. He arrived back in his homeland on January 25, 2023 after spending most of the past five years in exile following an assassination bid.

Lissu cries foul

Lissu is accusing the police of blocking him from going to Ngorongoro, as well as dispersing his meeting on Saturday, September 9.

He intended to hold rallies in support of the Maasai pastoralists who insist that they should not be evicted from their ancestral land.

The government intends to use the disputed land to organise safaris and hunting expeditions.

The State also argues that Maasai’s growing population is encroaching on wildlife habitat.

“Ngorongoro is not a prison. Police feared I would tell the truth about what is going on there about the eviction of the Maasai,” Lissu said on Sunday after being released.

A file photo of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. In January 2023, she lifted the ban on political rallies, part of a push to overturn some of the policies imposed by her predecessor, no-nonsense John pombe Magufuli.

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