Dar es Salaam. Deputy national chairperson of opposition CHADEMA (Tanzania Mainland) Tundu Lissu said on Friday that he can be expected in Tanzania on January 25, 2023, ending his nearly six years of living in exile following an attempted murder against him on September 7, 2017.
The firebrand politician addressed his supporters in a live stream where he explained that he is coming back home following a request by his party so that he can support the ongoing movement to demand the New Constitution.
“We cannot live endlessly in exile,” Mr Lissu, who once served as president of Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), said in his address. “I’d therefore like to inform you that I’ll touch down in Tanzania on January 25, 2022, around 1:33 PM.”
According to Mr Lissu, CHADEMA has requested all of its members living in exile to come back home thanks to ongoing reconciliation talks between the party and the government.
Apart from Mr Lissu, who has been living in Belgium, other party’s senior members who were forced to leave the country include Mr Godbless Lema, who left the country in 2020 and has been living in Canada since then.
Speaking in a virtual address from Belgium, Mr Lissu said he’s coming back to Tanzania because of the task before CHADEMA to make sure that Tanzanians receive the New Constitution.
“The coming few days will not be easy,” Mr Lissu, who lost to the late John Magufuli of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) during the controversial 2020 presidential elections, said during his address.
“I know that we will go through some trials and tribulations but with dedication, we will win,” he added.
It is not clear if the conditions for his return he laid out in the past, which included assurance from the government on his personal safety, were met for the politician did not explain this in his address.
However, Lissu’s announcement comes amidst ongoing talks between his party and the government aimed at finding common grounds as far as the future of Tanzania’s multiparty democracy is concerned.
The announcement also comes a few days since President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban previously imposed on opposition political rallies, leading CHADEMA and other opposition parties to announce timetables for the rallies across the country.
The Head of State made the decision on January 3, 2023, during the meeting with nineteen opposition parties with permanent registration at the State House in Dar es Salaam, promising further reforms.
Lukelo Francis is The Chanzo Journalist based in Dar es Salaam. He can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org.