Tanzanian politician Tundu Lissu, an outspoken government critic who was shot and wounded this week in an attack that shocked the country, is recovering in a Kenyan hospital, his party said Friday.
“Tundu Lissu was evacuated to Nairobi overnight after a decision by his family and his party,” Abdallah Safari, the vice president of main opposition party CHADEMA, said in a press conference.
“He is now at the Aga Khan hospital. His health is improving”.
CHADEMA secretary general Vincent Mashinji added: “Those who wanted to kill him have failed”.
Lissu, 49, was attacked at his home in the capital Dodoma on Thursday, after returning from a parliamentary session.
He was shot in the stomach and leg, according to local media reports, with party spokesperson Tumaini Makene describing his condition as “critical”.
According to party leaders, Lissu had previously complained to being “tailed” by a car and repeatedly said he feared assassination.
“Party members are afraid,” Safari said.
Lissu has had a series of run-ins with the government of President John Magufuli and has been arrested at least six times this year, accused of insulting the president and disturbing public order, among other charges.
He serves as chief whip for the parliamentary opposition and is president of Tanzania’s bar association, the Tanganyika Law Society, as well as being CHADEMA’s attorney general.
His most recent arrest was in August after revealing that a plane bought for the national carrier had been impounded in Canada over unpaid government debts.
Police said on Thursday they have opened an investigation.
Rights groups, Tanzania’s government and others have expressed shock at the shooting.
The United States said it was “deeply saddened” by the shooting, adding: “We condemn this senseless act of violence and join Tanzanians in expressing our sincere hopes for his full and speedy recovery.”
In a statement, Magufuli’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party also condemned “this cruel and inhuman act” and Magufuli tweeted that he was “shocked to hear the news of the attack on Tundu Lissu and I pray to god almighty that he will soon recover.”