8 September 2017

Tanzania: Track Down All Lissu Attackers, JPM Orders

Photo: File photo/The Citizen
Singida East MP and President of the Tanganyika Law Society Tundu Lissu.

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday ordered security organs to immediately launch an intensive manhunt for all suspects behind the brutal shooting of Singida East MP Tundu Lissu (CHADEMA).

The Head of State said he received with shock the news about the heinous attack, stressing that the assailants must be hunted and brought to justice.

Mr Lissu who doubles as the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) President was reportedly shot at around 1:30 pm yesterday near his residence in Dodoma region. As of yesterday evening, his condition remained stable, Dodoma Region Medical Officer Dr James Charles confirmed.

The outspoken MP who had earlier attended National Assembly sessions was shot and wounded by unknown gunmen just minutes after leaving the parliament grounds. He was immediately rushed to Dodoma General Hospital, but his driver was not wounded in the shooting, eyewitness told the 'Daily News'.

Speaking to reporters, Dr Charles said his medical team was 'compe tent' enough to take good care of the opposition leader, apparently in response to requests that the legislator be referred for further consultancy elsewhere.

"A team of specialists was working to stabilize the situation ... and I can now confirm he is stable and well," he told reporters, shortly after attending to the patient. The regional medical chief however said the doctors were still examining the number and magnitude of the wounds.

"Initially, we had detected gunwounds in his stomach and leg," he added. Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) National Chairman Mr Freeman Mbowe had earlier told reporters the condition (health) of their fellow legislator was "serious."

"We don't know the motive behind the shooting ... but for now all we can do is ... pray for his quick recovery," he said. Home Affairs Minister Mr Mwigulu Nchemba who also visited the hospital earlier in the afternoon declined comment but insisted the government would issue a statement after a clinical examination report.

MPs and Chadema followers in Dodoma flocked the hospital grounds following media reports detailing the Singida-East lawmaker and Opposition Chief Whip in the National Assembly who was hospitalised at the regional hospital.

Some opposition members of parliament who were at the hospital were heard saying, "... Lissu should be immediately transferred for further medical attention." But Dr Thomas Kashililah, the National Assembly Clerk, told the 'Daily News' that parliament was at standby to foot the bill should the medical doctors recommend further treatment abroad.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai and his Deputy Dr Tulia Ackson and Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender Elders and Children Ummy Mwalimu also visited the hospital yesterday.

Dodoma Regional Security Committee Chairman Mr Jordan Rugimbana and Regional Police Commander Gilles Muroto said the police had launched a manhunt for the people behind the shooting.

"It is too early to speak about the suspected gunmen but the police are now working on to ensure all those behind the crime are brought to justice," the commander said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has said it was shocked by the reports over the brutal shooting of Mr Lissu, urging the police to search for the assailants, investigate and take stern legal measures against all involved.

The party's Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Mr Humphrey Polepole, said the party was praying for Mr Lissu's immediate recovery so he could continue with his responsibilities as lawmaker.

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