9 September 2017

Tanzania: Increasing Wave of Crimes Worries Bunge

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Job Ndugai has directed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence and Security Committee to meet with security organs to assess and acquire more information on the increasing spate of crimes in the country.

In a related development, parliamentarians here have contributed 43m/- from half of their sitting allowances for treatment of the Singida East MP, Mr Tundu Lissu (Chadema) who was shot by unknown assailants on Thursday near his home at Area D in Dodoma.

Mr Lissu, who is also the Chief Whip of the Opposition in Parliament and President of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), was airlifted to Agha Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday night for further treatment after receiving initial medical care at Dodoma Regional Hospital.

The Speaker made the directives to the parliamentary committee following a request by Nzega MP, Hussein Bashe (CCM), who decried the increasing spate of security targeting leaders and ordinary people in many parts of the country.

Basing his request on Par liamentary Standing Order 47 (1) (2), Mr Bashe argued that it was high time the parliamentary committee was engaged to dig-out more information on the state of insecurity including kidnappings and shootings.

The MP cited crimes in question as the shooting of Mr Lissu, disappearance of one of Chadema official Ben Saanane, kidnapping and release of local artiste Ibrahim Mussa alias Roma Mkatoliki and brandishing of a pistol by an official suspected to be a police officer to former Minister Nape Nnauye.

Immediately, the Speaker nodded to the request and tasked the committee to get down to business by meeting with security organs for briefing on the security status and present a report in the House before the end of the ongoing session next Friday.

"Since the Chairperson of the Committee Adadi Rajabu (Muheza MP -CCM) is here, I task the team to start working on the matter immediately," Mr Ndugai instructed shortly after the question-and-answer session mid-morning yesterday.

Arumeru East MP, Joshua Nassari (Chadema) and Ukonga MP, Chacha Waitara (Chadema) had the same requests to the Speaker, with Mr Nassari expressing concern on kidnappings of children in Arusha.

He went further and stated many parliamentarians now fear for their lives. Briefing MPs earlier, the Speaker said Mr Lissu sustained five bullet injuries, two in the legs and abdomen while one hit his hand.

Quoting Dodoma Regional Police Commander Gilles Muroto, Mr Ndugai said Mr Lissu's vehicle was sprayed with between 28 and 32 bullets. Mr Lissu was shot before disembarking from his car at the housing compound which also hosts other government leaders and lawmakers.

Eyewitnesses said there was a white Nissan vehicle which had been trailing Mr Lissu's vehicle. The MP was then rushed to Dodoma Regional Hospital where he received initial treatment under the supervision of Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya.

According to the Speaker, Mr Lissu was to be transferred to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) but the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Freeman Mbowe (HaiChadema) and the family of the MP opted for Agha Khan Hospital in Kenya.

"As such, our procedures are that all referrals are channelled to MNH and if it requires treatment abroad we have arrangements with Apollo Hospital in India; this now leaves the treatment costs to his family," Mr Ndugai explained.

The Speaker noted further that following a meeting of the National Assembly Steering Committee and Service Commission resolved that the MPs should contribute half of their yesterday's sitting allowance to support the treatment of their fellow parliamentarian.

Meanwhile, a special intelligence team has been dispatched to Dodoma to strengthen the search for suspects behind the brutal shooting of Singida East MP Lissu. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Simon Sirro told reporters in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, vowing to apprehend all those who took part in the incident.

"We are very serious about the incident and I would like to assure Tanzanians that the criminals will be pinned down. As the saying information is power; therefore this manhunt will be made easier through the public's help," said IGP Sirro.

He made it clear that the focus should be to collaborate in identifying and capturing the responsible individuals for the MP has been shot and injured. He, however, warned against dissemination of information that bring about shocking waves to the community via the social media.

The kind of information may end up disrupting the investigation process, cause hate and disruption to the society. Meanwhile, Dodoma General Medical Examiner's report shows that the 49-year-old Singida-East Lawmaker Mr Tundu Lissu had severe gun-wounds on his right thigh and abdomen.

Speaking to the 'Daily News,' yesterday on condition of anonymity since he was not the spokesperson, the doctor who was among the team in the emergency theatre said the initial examination indicated the vocal politician had no other injuries from his abdomen to the forehead.

"His left arm had a series of scares indicating he had used his hand to cover large part of his body." The medical doctor explained that should either of the bullet had shot him around his private part, the opposition would have lost his battle to excessive bleeding.

"We checked the entire part was fine. We thank God his large part of the body was not affected," the doctor said. Adding: "More specifically, thanksgiving should be directed to his driver." It was reported that the driver who also helped to take Lissu to hospital for emergency treatment had stopped Lissu from disembarking the car, further asking him to lower the passenger's seat.

It all happened when the driver had suspected the car that was closely following. "(when we slowed, to allow the car following us to overtake, they too slowed. They continued following us (them-Lissu and the driver) until at the house gate.

Lissu was in the rush to know the people following but I (the driver) insisted he should wait to find out their final destination)," the doctor narrated the driver's account. The gunmen opened fire towards Lissu's car.

Since the car was fully-tinted his decision to tilt t passenger's seat backwards prevented his head from gunshot target. The doctor says the driver also was shot on the leg, was immediately attended and discharged.

Attempts to get comment from the driver were unsuccessful and the Regional Police Commander (RPC) Gilles Muroto said police were unaware of his whereabouts. Chadema yesterday called upon security and defence organs to professionally investigate the incident.

The Party's Vice- Chairman (Mainland), Prof Abdallah Safari said that Lissu's condition was improving as he continues to receive medical treatment in Nairobi.

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