Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu has fled the country for Europe amid reports of a crackdown on government critics days after President John Pombe Magufuli was sworn in for a second term after a disputed poll.
In a video seen by this writer on Tuesday evening, the Chadema leader is seen leaving for the airport accompanied by officials from the German embassy in Tanzania.
— Tundu Antiphas Lissu (@TunduALissu) November 10, 2020
The German embassy has been hosting the former presidential candidate for the past few days after he claimed that his life is in danger.
Reports indicate that Lissu is flying to Belgium, a country that hosted him for about three years after he survived an assassination attempt in 2017.
Lissu returned from exile in July this year and thereafter launched campaigns to unseat Magufuli.
He, however, rejected the outcome of the October 28 General Election that was marred by claims of arrests, restricted access to polling stations, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots and widespread blocking of social media.
Magufuli was declared the winner of the poll with 12.5 million votes, Lissu came in a distant second with 1.9 million votes.
Only two opposition lawmakers were elected with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party bagging all the other seats.
Some opposition leaders including Lissu were arrested after threatening to stage demonstrations to compel the government to disband the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to pave way for fresh elections.
Chadema politician Godbless Lema fled to Kenya over the weekend citing persecution of opposition figures in Tanzania and is in the process of applying for asylum.
Another opposition politician and former Member of Parliament for Singida North Constituency Lazaro Nyalandu was barred from leaving the country.
The former presidential candidate was blocked at Namanga border while en route to Kenya to seek asylum.