Tundu Lissu was having a rough year even before he was attacked by multiple gunmen last week, taking bullets in the stomach, leg and arm.
The opposition lawmaker, who is also president of the national bar association, gained new prominence last year when he began denouncing President John Magufuli as a “petty dictator.” Since then, he has been arrested repeatedly in retaliation for anti-government statements, including this past July and August. By the AFP’s count, he has been arrested “at least six times” in 2017 alone.
Last Thursday, the dangers he faced became starker when assailants shot him outside his home in Dodoma, Tanzania’s administrative capital, leaving him “seriously wounded,” according to a statement from his political party, Chadema. The following day, he was airlifted to Nairobi, Kenya, for treatment. Amnesty International condemned the attack as “cowardly” and “heinous,” while Magufuli said on Twitter that he was “saddened” by the shooting and was praying for Lissu’s “quick recovery.”