A prominent opposition figure in Tanzania was shot near his home in the capital, a government official said Thursday, in an attack that shocked the East African nation known for its relative peace and stability.
Lawmaker Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party, who recently faced criminal charges after he called President John Magufuli a dictator, was wounded by an unknown assailant in Dodoma, said Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba.
Lissu, one of Tanzania’s most vocal opposition politicians, was shot in the stomach, leg and arm, said Dr. Charles James, a regional medical officer. A statement from the opposition party said the lawmaker was “seriously wounded.”
Police have launched a manhunt for Lissu’s attackers, said Gilles Muroto, the Dodoma police commander. He said more than one gunman occupied the vehicle from which the shots were fired.
Lissu had appeared in the national assembly earlier Thursday and apparently was being driven home when the attack occurred.
In July, Lissu was criminally charged with using abusive language after he called President John Magufuli a dictator over alleged attacks on the opposition and the media.
Magufuli has faced growing accusations by rights groups and others of being intolerant of criticism since he was elected in 2015. Live transmission of parliamentary debates has stopped, and opposition rallies have been banned until the next election cycle in 2020.