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Makonda Unhappy With Accusations He Participated in Assassination Attempts Against Lissu

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Dar es Salaam. Paul Makonda, the ideology and publicity secretary of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), is unhappy with the accusations that CHADEMA vice chairperson (Tanzania Mainland) Tundu Lissu has been levelling against him. 

These include a charge that Makonda played a role in the 2017 assassination attempt against Mr Lissu. During a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Makonda accused Mr Lissu of being “unprofessional” and failing to behave like a “proper learned lawyer.”

Makonda’s remarks, prompted by a question by a journalist, followed a consistency that Mr Lissu has been applying recently in accusing the former Dar es Salaam regional commissioner of being involved in the September 7, 2017, tragic incident that’s still fresh in many Tanzanians’ memories.

During a February 16, 2024, interview with Star TV, the firebrand politician spoke at length about his feelings about Makonda’s involvement in the incident that left him with permanent disability.

“The person who led those people who attacked me was Paul Makonda when he was the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner,” said Lissu during the interview. “And I got this information from reliable sources, not small ones.”

READ MORE: It Is the Same Old Tundu Lissu As Ever

“If you can recall, there was an ambassador of one country who was given 72 hours to leave the country,” Lissu said. “[The ambassador] told me that himself. He told me that the former Director of Intelligence used to look for him, and one day, they met, and he informed him that Makonda was involved.”

“Makonda was in Dodoma on the day,” Mr Lissu added. “He came in with the team that carried out the attack and left with them; the road was cleared for them.” 

But during his press conference, intended to provide updates on his just-concluded countrywide party tour, Mr Makonda appeared to dismiss these allegations, expressing disappointment with Mr Lissu’s behaviour.

“I see our lawyer, my brother Tundu Lissu, speaking things unprofessionally,” Makonda started, following a question by a journalist. “Very unprofessional [of him]. You cannot tell if he is a learned lawyer or not. 

“They say you can’t judge or level accusation against somebody without listening to their side of the story. But now a complete lawyer is judging and accusing, and when you ask him, he will say I have been told. 

You are a lawyer, and you base your argument on hearsay, and it’s just one side; this is unprofessional,” Mr Makonda concluded.

READ MORE: Tundu Lissu’s Homecoming: A Timeline of Key Events

Mr Lissu’s assassination attempt, which many consider unprecedented in the history of Tanzania, remains one of the most high-profile criminal activities that police have so far failed to resolve.

It remains unknown if Tanzania’s authorities ever tried to investigate the incident that made Tanzania famous worldwide for all the wrong reasons. 

In 2022, police said they were waiting for Lissu and his driver to return to Tanzania from exile so that they could take their statement and proceed with their investigation. 

It’s more than a year since Mr Lissu returned to Tanzania, and there has not been any update from law enforcement organs on their investigation into the attempt to rob his life on that fateful Thursday afternoon.

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