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Death Of Civilians And Disappearance Of Government Opponents. Price Tanzanians Should Pay For Eradic

In a damning interview with Stephen Sackur of BBC Hardtalk aired by BBC World Service on January 21, 2019, Tanzania's renowned opposition member of parliament who survived an assassination attempt in 2017 and currently recovering from his injuries in Belgium, Tundu Lissu, mercilessly unleashed strong attack on the government of Dr John Magufuli on various fronts.

He said, among other things, the following.

Beginning his attack, MP Lissu said it was the government of Dr Magufuli alias the Bulldozer behind the attempt on his life. He substantiated by citing several incidents he linked to the government, that happened to him prior to the attack, that include 8 arbitrary arrests by the police, telephone threats from some people belonging to the ruling party (CCM), and been followed where ever he went by some people he believe were government security agents; as well as absence of security personnel at the always heavily guarded government housing complex he lived in the capital Dodoma, on the day of the assassination attempt that took place on broad day light.

He also touched the government of Dr Magufuli's fearless head on confrontation with big mining firms operating in Tanzania, particularly Acacia Mining, in order to get a better share of revenues accruing from extraction of the country's mineral resources. Albeit MP Lissu seemed to support the government's move against the firms, he, however, doubted its enforcement. He observed, so far, the government has received nothing from, e.g. Acacia Mining, in terms of claimed tax arrears the firm owes it, a staggering $190 billion. Neither has the government received a single cent of some $300 million promised by the firm, as a beginning of repayment of the arrears, he continued.

Pressed by Stephen Sackur to comment on recent controversial call by Dar es Salaam's regional commissioner for identification and arrest of homosexuals in the commercial capital, MP Lissu said rather carefully that matters of homosexuality are personal choice hence private, and that infringement of privacy is prohibited by Tanzania's Constitution. As such, he said and we quote: "We should never allow the government to start peeping into peoples' bedrooms. By inference, MP Lissu seems to advocate, albeit cautiously, for revision of Tanzania's pre-independence law that criminalizes homosexuality.

Furthermore, MP Lissu emphatically observed that since the government of Dr Magufuli came to power, Tanzania has experienced unprecedented killing of civilians particularly in the Coast and Kilwa regions, and disappearance of government opponents. The MP who appears to acknowledge the milestones made by the government of Dr Magufuli in tackling corruption in the public sector, nevertheless, wondered if death of civilians and disappearance of opponents of the government is the price Tanzanians should pay eradication of corruption.

Finally, MP Lissu told Stephen Sackur he was a legitimate member of parliament and expect to return to Tanzania once he is released as fit by his doctors in Belgium. And that when he returns to his homeland, he expect the government there to ensure his safety. He added he will be happy to contest as a presidential candidate against Dr Magufuli, in Tanzania's next presidential election in 2020, if his political party Chadema were to ask him to do so.

Fair attack on a government reportedly becoming increasingly authoritarian, and expression of big time political ambition, by progressive opposition MP Tundu Lissu!

Take a listen at the interview at the video above.


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