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Job Sikhala critically ill in prison amid allegations he was poisoned

Jailed opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Job Sikhala is reportedly critically ill at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison amid allegations that he might have been poisoned.

On Sunday, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) called Sikhala’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa telling her that the Zengeza West legislator was suffering from ‘severe diarrhoea’ and he needed a doctor with urgency.

CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party was in liaison with Sikhala’s family to ensure that he gets help.

“We’re extremely concerned that Hon Job Sikhala is unwell. We are seized with the matter and are liaising with the family, medical team and lawyers to ensure his life is not in danger. We’re doing everything in our power to ensure he’s safe. We continue to demand his release,” she said.

Sikhala’s aide Frederick Masarirevhu told NewsDay that Sikhala’s wife was called by prison officials over a suspected case of poisoning.

“It’s true, Sikhala is not okay. I spoke with his wife and she informed me that the legislator has been vomiting and we are in touch with doctors for urgent assistance.

“Mrs Sikhala is currently on her way to Chikurubi Maximum Prison and a team of doctors is expected to follow. This is surprising considering that I had an hour-long conversation with him on Saturday.

“From what I hear, he is not in good shape and we wait to hear the exact condition from the medical team,” Masarirevhu said.

Sikhala was arrested on 14 June together with CCC MP Godfrey Sithole and 16 party activists. They were all charged with incitement to commit public violence to avenge the murder of party official Moreblessing Ali.

The CCC interim vice chairman was later slapped with more charges of obstructing the course of justice.

The two MPs were denied bail more than four times by the lower and higher courts with judges insisting that they should wait for trial.