Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu will run for president in elections in October, three years after surviving an assassination attempt.
Lissu, the 52-year-old vice chairman of the Chadema party, has been in self-imposed exile in Europe since unidentified gunmen shot him 16 times in an attack in the capital, Dodoma. He made his announcement Monday in a statement emailed from Belgium.
A popular former chief whip of Chadema, Lissu is seen as a serious challenger to President John Magufuli, who plans to seek re-election. Since coming to power in 2015, Magufuli, 60, has been accused by opposition leaders and activists of cracking down on dissent and media freedom. He denies the allegations.
No one has been arrested in connection with the attempted assassination of Lissu, prompting him to accuse the government of failing to take action. Police officials have said the investigation has been hampered by Lissu’s absence from the country. Lissu previously abandoned plans to return to Tanzania, saying he’ll only do so if his personal safety is guaranteed.
Meanwhile the Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe was ambushed and beaten by an unknown gang of men as he returned to his home in the capital, Dodoma, Monday evening, according to the party. He sustained injuries and a broken leg during the incident, which Dodoma police chief Giles Muroto said authorities are investigating.
This article was published by Bloomberg.