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Heavily armed Tanzanian police block Lissu’s campaign entourage

By Japheth Ogila | October 6th 2020 at 15:04:33 GMT +0300

CHADEMA presidential candidate Tundu Lissu greets his supporters after jetting back in the country in July 2020. [Photo: Courtesy]

A group of heavily armed Tanzanian police officers intercepted a campaign entourage of CHADEMA presidential candidate Tundu Lissu on Tuesday afternoon.

Lissu, his running mate and the campaign team were making headway to Kibaha  when they were intercepted by the security officers at Kiluvya, Coastal part of the country.

A 45-seconds long video clip shared by the opposition party (CHADEMA) on their Twitter page shows some armed officers in a Landcruiser as others mill around the scene. They are dressed in their uniforms and helmets and appear not in a hurry to let Lissu’s team leave.

The incident comes days after the Tanzanian electoral body banned the  former Singida East MP from campaigning claiming he flouted the electoral rules.

The offences

On Friday, the electoral body revealed that the decision prevailed after 11 out of 15 candidates voted for the suspension of CHADEMA candidate.

“After lengthy deliberations in which Chadema officials actively participated, and after referring to the relevant laws, the committee on ethics has devised, invoking the powers vested on it by the constitution, to stop Chadema presidential candidate Tundu Lissu for seven days with effect from October 3 from campaigning,” the statement read.

The electoral body argued that Lissu made inciting remarks in one of his campaign tours, where he alleged that his challenger, the incumbent President John Magufuli was planning rig the October 28 General Election.

It further argued that the CHADEMA leader had also made some remarks while in a campaign tour in Geita, which undermined the credibility of the polling body. The body said that Chama Cha NRA and Chama Cha Mapinduzi had filed the complaints after Lissu made the remarks in Mara District.

But with clock ticking, and just 23 days to the polling day; Lissu vowed to defy the directive inorder to continue with his quest to hunt for votes.

“I will go on with my plans on Sunday. I will campaign as earlier planned the day after tomorrow,” he said on Sunday, while in a campaign tour which was televised on YouTube.

Fighting back

CHADEMA is not taking orders from the electoral body lying down. They have also accused Magufuli and ruling party CCM of trampling on the electoral rules with impunity. They accused their opponents of bribery among other electoral offences.

“We have complained three times against CCM, especially on bribery and giving voters promises of development projects. Has any of you ever heard the electoral commission saying it has received any complaints from us and especially on issues of corruption?” he questioned.

Lissu returned to Tanzania earlier this year from lengthy stay in Belgium where he was receiving treatment after surviving assassination attempt in 2017.

While on treatment abroad, he lost his Singida East parliamentary post after the speaker declared it vacant for absenteeism.

Tanzanian police officers CHADEMA presidential candidate Tundu Lissu
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