Tanzanian opposition leader and former presidential candidate, Tundu Lissu, returned home after more than two years in exile in Europe to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the government lifted a ban on political rallies.
A former lawmaker and a fierce critic of the government, Lissu initially left the country to seek treatment abroad after he was shot 16 times, mostly in his lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital, Dodoma, in 2017.
He had been arrested eight times in the year leading up to the attack.
Lissu was welcomed by a large gathering of his supporters at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, before making his way to address a rally in commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
He was seen waving his CHADEMA party flag while sitting atop a car as he greeted supporters who had gathered along the roads and were following him by foot, cars and motorcycles. Lissu had returned for a few months in 2020 to challenge then President, John Magufuli, in an election.
However, shortly after the election, he fled to the residence of the German ambassador after receiving death threats, and then left the country again.
Earlier this month, President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban on political rallies, more than six years after her predecessor, Magufuli, imposed the measure which caused frequent run-ins between opposition leaders and police. — Reuters
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