President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime has slapped extra charges against opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP, Job Sikhala, who has been in pre-trial detention now for over 10 months since his arrest June last year.
Sikhala was initially arrested under what his party say are trumped up charges of allegedly inciting public violence and disturbing police investigations following the brutal murder of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali, last year.
The outspoken MP now faces an additional charge of disorderly conduct allegedly perpetrated in 2022 alongside former Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko.
“You are hereby required and directed by the State on the sight thereof to summon Lovemore Maiko and Job Sikhala that they appear personally before the court of the Magistrate at Harare Magistrates Court on the 20th of April 2023…,” reads part of summons.
“…to answer and abide by the judgement of the court, arising from the following charge(s), disorderly conduct as defined in section 41(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act chapter 9:23.”
It is the State’s case that Sikhala and Maiko engaged in disorderly or riotous conduct by stoning people who had gathered for a rally at Zengeza 5 open grounds in Chitungwiza.
The Friends of Job Sikhala Trust have however hit out the new charges calling them a deliberate attempt to bar him from contesting in elections to retain his parliamentary seat in Zengeza West.
“The trust notes with deep sadness the perpetual persecution of Mr Sikhala. But the regime has made it clearer that this is nothing but a political battle as compared to legal which now calls for political action, we now need to speak with the voice of the oppressed.
“Regrettably, this is a well-calculated, deliberate effort to lock Job Sikhala behind bars beyond the forthcoming elections,” spokesperson of the Trust, Emmanuel Zellers Gumbo was quoted saying.
Sikhala has been held at the notorious Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for over 10 months with countless bail applications being dismissed by frightened judges who fear retribution by Mnangagwa’s regime.