Tanzania opposition leader leaves Tanzania for Belgium

Tanzania opposition leader Tundu Lissu [photo: DW]

Nov, 11th 2020 – Tanzania opposition leader Tundu Lissu has left Tanzania. During this year’s elections, he lost the presidential polla to John Magufuli in what he termed as a rigged election with corruption and voter intimidation.

He had sought asylum at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam where he has been since saturday, fearing for his life. Speaking to DW before his flight took off, he said, “For a week now, diplomats from Germany, Belgium, the United States and other countries have negotiated with the Tanzanian government to allow me to leave the country safely. And it is their efforts that have allowed me to leave today.”

Lissu was the flag bearer for the Chadema party which accused President Magufuli of rigging the elections. He has live with severe injuries after surviving the 2017 assassination attempt. He said, “The threats against me kept increasing after the Tanzanian presidential election and I decided to leave the country. I am leaving my country as a free citizen. I am not a refugee. I have not asked any country for asylum. I am going to Belgium because, as you may know, after living there for three years during my therapy, I attained legal resident status. I am not going to Belgium as a refugee, but rather returning as a resident.”

He has left for Belgium. On his twitter account, he posted a video of him getting inside a car ready to leave the country.

[video: twitter/ Tundu Lissu]

When asked on his future by DW, he said, “I am also going to Europe with a political mission. I want to speak with the international community about what happened during the recent election, and what it means for Tanzania and the rest of the world.”

Lisuu won 12.8 percent against Magufuli’s electoral vote of 84 percent. He asked the international community to refuse recognition of the election results.

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