Eastern Africa News Network

Tundu Lissu says he sent Raila Odinga to seek audience with President Magufuli

Members of the opposition parties in Tanzania tried to use Kenyan Politician, Raila Odinga to act as bridge between them and the Government of the former President John Magufuli, for political dialogue, but without success.

Politician, Activist and Advocate, Tundu Lissu, currently in exile, revealed that he personally flew all the way from Belgium to Nairobi and sought audience with various Kenyan leaders, among them Raila Odinga.

“People advised us to use Magufuli’s close friends to connect the opposition with the former President,” Lissu stated when contributing during a recent live discussions hosted via Maria Sarungi Tsehai’s Twitter platform.

The now popular Maria Spaces are attended by more than 6000 active and passive participants per session.

Advocate Lissu said when Kenyans were launching their Building Bridge Initiative (BBI), report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, he attended the event and used the occasion to speak to various leaders of the neighboring country.

“I also met with Raila Odinga and told him, ‘look, you are good friends with Magufuli, we would like you to contact him on our behalf so that we get an audience with the head of state to discuss peace and reconciliation,” said Lissu.

Raila Odinga (Left) with former Tanzania President, John Magufuli

Raila promised to do exactly that and three months later he got back to him and declared that President Magufuli turned down their proposal.

Lissu was explaining why his party, the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo refused to participate in the recent talks that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro had organized with the political parties.

“We have on several occasions did our best to solicit such discussions but his blank wall,” he stated.

He even reminded of the time when the CHADEMA Chair, Freeman Mbowe had attended the 2019 Independence Day Celebrations in Mwanza, where upon being invited to speak, he had appealed to the President for a political dialogue with all parties to ‘heal wounds.’

Lissu however pointed out that the current President, Samia Suluhu Hassan had contacted him once by phone, but they couldn’t speak on that he was preceding an important meeting at the time.

Charismatic Tundu Lissu, who vied for Presidency against Magufuli in the previous 2020 General Elections, said Mama Samia Suluhu, then Vice-President, had visted him in hospital when admitted in Nairobi after an attack by unknown assailants.

Mama Samia Suluhu (then Vice President), consoles Tundu Lissu at Nairobi Hospital after his 2017 attack

In September 2017 Lissu was showered with innumerable bullets at the Parliamentary Residency in Dodoma. Something which is believed to be attempted murder against the charismatic politician.

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