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‘Sikhala is being held in Dumiso Dabengwa’s old cell at Chikurubi Prison’

Incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole are being held in the late Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku’s old cells respectively at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

CCC treasurer general David Coltart said he visited the two yesterday (Tuesday) together with his son Doug.

Coltart said Sikhala and Sithole were being kept in the old cells which former President Robert Mugabe used in 1982 when he jailed Masuku and Dabengwa for political charges of treason.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy chairperson Job Sikhala
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy chairperson Job Sikhala

The two MPs have spent more than 100 days in jail after they were arrested on June 14 together with 14 residents of Nyatsime over allegations that they incited public violence at the funeral wake of murdered CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

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“Yesterday my son Doug Coltart and I visited Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole in Chikurubi Maximum Prison. Although they are being treated kindly by prison wardens they are being held in appalling conditions – they were in leg irons and are being held in solitary confinement,” David said.

“Sikhala is being held in Dumiso Dabengwa’s old cell. Sithole is in Lookout Masuku’s old cell. This is the equivalent of the preventive detention of the 1970 and 80s which enabled Zanu-PF to hold Masuku & Dabengwa for years even though they were innocent.

“Sikhala, Sithole and the remainder of the Nyatsime14‘s ongoing detention is an utter travesty of justice. All should have been released on bail. It is inexcusable that several of them are being held as unconvicted prisoners on remand at Chikurubi Maximum.”

The courts have denied Sikhala and his colleagues bail on the basis that they had a propensity of committing similar crimes. This is despite the fact that they are yet to be convicted.

David said the two MPs were mentally strong.

“Sikhala and Sithole remain mentally strong and totally committed to the struggle to bring freedom to Zimbabwe. We need to all rally around them and demand their immediate release. The Church in particular needs to be more proactive in seeking their release,” he said.