Suluhu Hassan meets exiled opposition figure Tundu Lissu

President Samia Suluhu Hassan held face-to-face talks with Opposition Leader Tundu Lissu in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, 16th 2022 as part of her official visit to the country. Lissu left Tanzania after losing the general election in 2020 and recently announced he will be returning next month.

A fierce critic of former Tanzania President John Magufuli and his government, Lissu fled into exile in 2017 after being shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma.

However, Hassan, who took over after Magufuli’s death in March last year, has pursued measures to improve Tanzania’s human rights record including lifting bans on media outlets imposed under his predecessor.

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President Samia, for the very first time, met and held brief talks with opposition leader Tundu Lissu in Brussels, Belgium.

President Samia, for the very first time, met and held brief talks with opposition leader Tundu Lissu in Brussels, Belgium.

A statement by Hassan’s State House said the president met Lissu in Brussels at the latter’s request.

“During their talks, the two discussed various issues of interest to the welfare of the United Republic of Tanzania,” the statement issued by the Director of Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus reads in part.

Lissu, who is vice president of the main opposition Chadema party, was arrested eight times in the year leading up to the shooting attack in 2017 and was charged with incitement, among other alleged offences.

He spent three years in exile before returning in July 2020 to participate in that year’s presidential elections, losing to Magufuli. Lissu rejected the outcome, alleging widespread vote rigging.

He again went abroad in November 2020 after complaining of death threats and has since been in exile in Belgium.