Tanzania: Detained Opposition Leader Tundu Lissu Refusing to Speak

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The opposition Chief Whip in Parliament and Chadema’s legal affairs director, Lissu Tindu, has been in police custody for almost 3 days while charges against him are reportedly not clear and he has been denied bail “for no particular reason”.

Lissu Now Rejects Questioning By Police

Dar es Salaam — Mr Tundu Lissu, who is Singida East MP and who was arrested on Monday evening outside Parliament premises, has opted not to respond to new questioning by the police arguing that he was entitled to do so.

This was revealed yesterday in the city by Chadema secretary general Vincent Mashinji during a press conference.

Mr Lissu, who is also the opposition Chief Whip in Parliament and Chadema’s legal affairs director, is under police custody at the Central Police Station in Dar es Salaam, after he was arrested in Dodoma.

“Mr Lissu has been denied bail for no particular reason and charges against him are not clear. At first they planned to charge him with his comments on the state of famine but the attempt rejected by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“But this morning (yesterday) the questioning was twisted into his statements made in Zanzibar during the campaigns for the Dimani Constituency bi-election, all these show that they (police) are not sure of what to charge him with,” he said.

At the conference, Dr Mashinjis said Chadema condemned the Monday evening arrest of Mr Lissu, claiming the move was aimed at frustrating the opposition from advocating for the rule of law in the country.

He said that despite the challenges they were being subjected to, Chadema would remain strong and move on with its mission.

“The police ought to grant him bail. He is entitled to this right,” he said and linked the current happenings to the claimed attempt aimed at wiping out opposition in the country.

He also claimed that the move could be linked to efforts aimed at thwarting Mr Lissu’s plan to contest for presidency post in the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) which is scheduled to take place next month.

“But we will not be cowed down, instead these attempts only insense us to fight even more vigorously for the rule of law and true democracy, as the party we shall not accept this,” he said.

Moreover, he challenged the police to adhere to the principles of the rule of law, in a fresh bid to end grievances by the Opposition in their conduct.