‘A new chapter’: Tanzania opposition stalwart Lissu returns from exile

Tanzanian opposition stalwart Tundu Lissu arrived back in his homeland on Wednesday to a rousing welcome from supporters after spending most of the past five years in exile following an assassination attempt.

The former presidential candidate was greeted by supporters in the red, white and blue colours of his Chadema party, an AFP correspondent said.

Lissu suffered 16 wounds in a gun attack in 2017 and spent most of the years since then in Belgium.

He arrived in Dar es Salaam on a flight from Brussels via Addis Ababa to a raucous welcome from Chadema supporters.

Thousands waving flags and blowing vuvuzela horns lined the 15-kilometre (9.5-mile) route from the airport to Temeke, where the opposition was to hold a welcome rally.

The 55-year-old, wearing a tan suit and dark sunglasses, beamed at the crowd from the sunroof of a car and shook hands with supporters as it crawled forward.

“Living in exile is very difficult. My five years abroad were not easy at all for my family and I, my party, and my country in general,” Lissu told supporters.

“I am happy to return home today, and I believe you are also happy.”

His return follows President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s announcement this month that a ban on political rallies imposed by her hardline predecessor John Magufuli would be lifted, in an overture to the opposition.

The government’s olive branch was cautiously welcomed by rights groups and the opposition as a boost for democracy, with Hassan overturning some of the authoritarian policies imposed by Magufuli.

– ‘New chapter’ –

“We have a tough task ahead as we start a new chapter,” said Lissu.

On Saturday, Chadema held its first mass rally since the lifting of the 2016 ban, led by its leader Freeman Mbowe in the lakeside city of Mwanza.

Lissu was last in Tanzania briefly in late 2020 to contest the election against Magufuli, a strongman leader who died just five months after winning his second term.

The victory was disputed and the opposition called for protests. Lissu took refuge with diplomats after threats to his life, before fleeing the country.

Under Magufuli, who was first elected in 2015 as a straight-talking man of the people, political gatherings were outlawed, opposition leaders detained and media cowed.

Nicknamed the “Bulldozer” for his authoritarian leadership style, Magufuli’s hardline policies and uncompromising governance saw Tanzania‘s reputation as a stable democracy in the region badly damaged.

Lissu, an outspoken critic of Magufuli and the governing CCM party, was shot while seated in his car in 2017 and spent the next few years recovering in Belgium.

Since Magufuli’s sudden death in March 2021, Hassan has reversed some of his most controversial policies and promised reforms long demanded by the opposition.

But hopes dimmed in July 2021 when Mbowe was arrested on terrorism charges. He was released after seven months but the incident prompted some critics to call Hassan a dictator.

She sat down face-to-face with Lissu in Brussels in early 2022, again buoying hopes that change could be on the horizon.

Earlier this week, Tanzania‘s information minister said the government was planning to amend a media law that critics say restricts freedom of expression, though no further details about the proposed changes have been given.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan, through her government and party, have shown they are ready for a new journey. We need to demonstrate that we are also ready for that,” Lissu said in his January 13 speech.

“I am coming home for the new beginning of our nation.”

AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.

Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.

Daily Politics

This is Daily Politics. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

Entertainment

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.

Podcasts

Podcasts

Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

SportOn

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.

Tech-over

The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.

Thamani

Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience

Trending

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Twende

Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.

Unscripted

This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.

WADR

This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.

||