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Biti “Shocked” By Madhuku’s Comments On Sikhala Extended Pre-trial Detention

MP for Harare East, Tendai Biti (CCC), has dismissed claims that political dialogue with ZANU PF will facilitate the release of party officials, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole, and more than a dozen CCC supporters from Nyatsime who have been in pre-trial detention for close to three months.

Biti was responding to National Constituency Assembly (NCA) president Lovemore Madhuku who suggested that CCC’s refusal to talk with ZANU PF was behind Sikhala and Sithole’s continued incarceration. Said Biti:

Lovemore Madhuku’s remarks are shocking and regrettable. They are so outrageous in their defiance of logic.

They, however, confirm the capture of and weaponization of the law in Zimbabwe A sad indictment of the regime.

Posting on Twitter, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere also criticised Madhuku for his remarks saying the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should be impartial. She said:

With all due respect, this is intellectually dishonest, Professor Madhuku.

Section 260 of the Constitution enshrines the independence of the Prosecutor-General.

The PG must be impartial & is not subject to the direction or control of anyone, not even Emmerson Mnangagwa. That’s the law.

The Nyatsime 16, who include Sikhala and Sithole, were arrested in June over political violence in Chitungwiza following the abduction and gory murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali by suspects with alleged links to ZANU PF.

Sikhala and Sithole have been denied bail by the courts pending trial on five occasions.

Commenting on the issue, Madhuku said Sikhala and Sithole are victims of their own political party’s decision to refuse to dialogue with Mnangagwa. He said:

The issues of Job Sikhala and others could have been resolved by a dialogue process.

The CCC members are now victims of their political party that refuses to dialogue and refuses to be part of POLAD.

If you make it a political issue, you engage other political players and then the way it is done, we can say publicly the NPA is able to engage in political discussion.

You need to persuade the NPA not to oppose bail.

Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) is a dialogue platform created by President Emmerson Mnangagwa following calls for the need for dialogue with the opposition to find solutions to the country’s problems.

The platform was launched on 17 May 2019 by Emmerson Mnangagwa. | NewZimbabwe.com

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