Oct 19, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Tundu Lissu jets into Kenya

Mr Lissu will be launching his book titled Remaining in the Shadows – Parliament and Accountability in East Africa, in Nairobi.

His lawyer Prof George Wajackoya confirmed that Mr Lissu will be in the country for the event that is scheduled to take place at the Windsor Hotel.

“I have express instructions from him as his advocate to confirm to you that yes, he is already in the country ahead of his book launch that will take place at Windsor Hotel on Friday,” Prof Wacjakoya told Nation.Africa.

Mr Lissu, a presidential candidate in last year’s election that was won by late President John Magufuli, survived an attempt on his life in 2017.

He was shot several times by gunmen, who have yet to be identified, near his home in the capital, Dodoma, and underwent more than 20 operations in Kenya and Belgium in order to recover.

“It’s time new President Samia Suluhu told me, the nation and the world who’s behind the shooting and why? Who gave what order to whom? Her silence on this issue can’t hold any longer,” Mr Lissu tweeted on June 8.

In his book, he traces the evolution of parliaments in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

From their origins in the British colonial period, he argues, East African parliaments have – with fleeting exceptions – been in the shadow of the all-pervasive executive power, personified by colonial governors and the post-colonial executive presidents.

“With the tenuous exception of Kenya, they remain in the shadow of the imperial Presidency,” he argues.

And as long as that remains the case, he argues, democracy, accountability, rule of law and all attributes of a liberal democratic order remain imperiled.

The book is a ringing indictment of presidentialist systems of government. It draws extensively from literature on the subject, and from the political and constitutional history of the three countries.

“Given the entrenchment of that system and the powerful vested interests it has created and serves, the book will most certainly spark stormy political and academic debate. If it does so, it will have served its purpose and justified the time and the expense of its writing,” he said.