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Mtetwa Says Sikhala’s Continued Detention Is Political Persecution

Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa says the continued detention of two legislators Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) is political persecution.

The duo was arrested in June over the 14 June Nyatsime violence which erupted in the funeral wake of the slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali.

They were arrested together with 13 others and they have been in prison since then as the courts have on several occasions denied them bail.

Speaking to Alpha Media Holdings’ Heart & Soul television (HStv) last Thursday, Mtetwa said the State was targeting Sikhala due to his political activism. She said:

Godfrey and the others are now victims of clearly Job (Sikhala) being the target, but their morale is high. Job is a politician, and he believes in what he believes in. But he ought not to be in prison for doing what he was doing as a lawyer appointed by the Ali family. The reason they have not been given bail is because they know they will not get convicted. The idea is to make them serve the sentence. They know they don’t have the evidence to prove the cases against them.

Zimbabwe has returned to the early stages where there was detention without trial of opposition members. We are not different from the time when the Zapu leadership (then led by the late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo) was in detention without trial.

The difference now is that there is a veneer of legality in trying to take these people to court as if there is due process. The bottom line is those people are in custody for no other reason than that they are opposition leaders.

Mtetwa said the fact that Erica Ndewere, who who got recalled for misconduct, claimed that her troubles started when she gave bail to Job Sikhala suggests why Sikhala was not getting bail.

She added that the country’s judicial officers are afraid of asserting their judicial authority and independence for fear of reprisals from poitical elites.

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One Comment on “Mtetwa Says Sikhala’s Continued Detention Is Political Persecution

  1. The partisan captured state of the Judiciary is very clear to all independent minded people, but that doesn’t exonerate the same judiciary officers who are involved heart and soul in subverting the human rights of the individuals as enshrined in the CONSTITUTION..

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