Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘Terror campaign involving murder is protected by Zanu PF’- Amsterdam

Incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice Chairman Job Sikhala’s international lawyer Robert Amsterdam has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of capturing the judiciary following the systematic multiple denial of bail to his client.

Amsterdam, a prominent Canadian lawyer with Amsterdam & Partners LLP, volunteered to provide legal assistance to Sikhala in the case he is jailed over allegations that he incited public violence together with fellow opposition MP Godfrey Sithole and 14 other party activists.

The two legislators were denied bail by both the Magistrate’s and High Court. They approached the lower court on changed circumstances but were again denied freedom.

Amsterdam, a fierce critic of the Zanu-PF regime, accused the court and police of being used by the ruling party to persecute the opposition.

“It is now clear that members of the Opposition in Zimbabwe suffer severe deprivation of fundamental rights through the Courts, Police and Prosecutors in that country.

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“The terror campaign involving violence, rape and murder is protected by Zanu-PF proxies in uniform or robes,” Amsterdam said.

Zanu-PF director of communications Tafadzwa Mugwadi was not picking up his phone when Nehanda Radio tried to contact him for a comment.

Sikhala, Sithole and the 14 activists were accused of inciting violence to avenge the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali on 14 June in Nyatsime.

CCC treasurer general David Coltart urged the Law Society of Zimbabwe to speak out about the “shameful Judges and Magistrates” who are denying freedom to the jailed activists.

“It’s been 70 days since Job Sikhala and the Nyatsime 14 were detained. They haven’t been arrested for murder or looting millions – just spurious charges for relatively petty offences. But they’ve been denied a basic Constitutional right to bail by shameful Judges and Magistrates,” he said.

“Whilst politicians are behind this injustice we must never forget the unprofessional prosecutors, Magistrates and Judges who have facilitated this outrage. In addition all lawyers who remain silent in the face of this outrage are also complicit. We all need to speak out.

“Aside from anything else Job Sikhala is a fellow lawyer. It is time the Law Society of Zimbabwe itself spoke out. How can we remain silent when a fellow lawyer is allowed to rot in a filthy dank prison and the Constitution is so brazenly violated?” Coltart said.