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‘My life is not safe’ -Tanzanian opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, takes refuge at the residence of the German ambassador after losing country’s election

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has taken refuge at the residence of the German ambassador after losing the country’s election. He contests the results, which virtually wiped out the opposition Chadema party.

He fears for his life after losing a highly controversial election that observers say effectively turned the East African country into a one-party state. 

Tanzanian President John Magufuli won the election on October 30 with 84% of the vote, to Lissu’s 13%, though the opposition alleged widespread voter intimidation and corruption. Lissu was also briefly detained by police earlier this week after calling for a national protest.

Speaking from the residence of German ambassador Regine Hess in Dar es Salaam, where the presidential candidate fled on Monday, Lissu said he had been pursued by Tanzanian police officers and that an order to kill him had already been issued.

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Lissu, 52, survived an assassination attempt in 2017, when he was shot multiple times in his car. He returned to Tanzania this summer to contest last week’s election after spending three years recovering in exile. He had most recently been living in Belgium.

” I am living in the ambassador’s residence because my life is not safe. Since last Saturday I am receiving messages threatening my life. So I left my home since Sunday. On Monday, I went to the embassy. I was followed by Tanzanian police officers who were in two vehicles. I was arrested and taken to the Central Police Station. If it were not for the presence of officials of the German embassy, I would probably on that day not have returned back to my home.” Tundu Lissu told DW news in an interview.