Tanzania opposition chief Lissu returns from exile

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His return follows President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s announcement this month of the tip of a ban on political gatherings in Tanzania.

Tanzanian opposition chief and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu returned home after greater than two years in exile in Europe to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the federal government lifted a ban on political rallies.

A former lawmaker and a fierce critic of the federal government, Lissu initially left the nation to hunt therapy overseas after he was shot 16 occasions, largely in his decrease stomach, in his automotive by unknown gunmen within the administrative capital Dodoma in 2017.

He had been arrested eight occasions within the 12 months main as much as the assault.

Lissu was welcomed by a big gathering of his supporters on the Julius Nyerere International Airport, after flying in from Brussels earlier than making his technique to tackle a rally within the business capital Dar es Salaam.

He was seen waving his Chadema celebration flag whereas sitting atop a automotive as he greeted supporters who had gathered alongside the roads and had been following him on foot, vehicles and bikes.

Lissu had returned for just a few months in 2020 to problem then-President John Magufuli in an election. However, shortly after the election he fled to the residence of the German ambassador after receiving dying threats, after which left the nation once more.

His return follows President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s announcement this month of the tip of a ban on political rallies imposed by her hardline predecessor Magufuli, in an overture to the opposition.

The Chadema celebration on Saturday held its first mass rally because the lifting of the 2016 ban, led by its chief Freeman Mbowe within the lakeside metropolis of Mwanza.

The authorities’s move has been cautiously welcomed by rights teams and the opposition as a lift for democracy, with Hassan overturning a few of Magufuli’s authoritarian insurance policies.

Lissu was final in Tanzania in late 2020 contesting the election towards Magufuli, who died simply 5 months after successful his second time period. The victory was disputed and the opposition known as for protests. Lissu took refuge with diplomats after threats to his life, earlier than escaping the nation.

Under Magufuli, who was first elected in 2015 as a straight-talking man of the folks, political gatherings had been outlawed, opposition leaders detained and media cowed.

Nicknamed the “Bulldozer” for his authoritarian management model, Magufuli had hardline insurance policies and an uncompromising model of governance that noticed Tanzania’s popularity for secure democracy within the area badly broken.

Since the sudden dying of Magufuli in March 2021, Hassan has reversed a few of his most controversial insurance policies and promised reforms lengthy demanded by the opposition.

But hopes dimmed in July that 12 months when Mbowe was arrested on fees of “terrorism financing”. He was launched after seven months however some critics labelled Hassan a “dictator”.

She sat down head to head with Lissu in Brussels in early 2022, once more buoying hopes that change may very well be on the horizon.

Earlier this week, Tanzania’s data minister mentioned the federal government was planning to amend a media invoice that critics say restricts freedom of expression, however gave no particulars of the proposed adjustments.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan, through her government and party, have shown they are ready for a new journey. We need to demonstrate that we are also ready for that,” Lissu mentioned.

“I am coming home for the new beginning of our nation.”