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Sikhala’s wife breaks down while talking about husband’s detention

Incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Job Sikhala’s wife Ellen broke down while speaking about her husband’s ‘unjustified’ pre-trial detention which has now gone for more than 10 months.

Sikhala, who is facing charges of inciting public violence, has been jailed for more than 305 days without trial or bail. His party believes that the outspoken legislator is being persecuted by the Zanu-PF regime for being the voice of the voiceless.

Speaking during an event hosted by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum in collaboration with regional human rights advocacy group Southern Defenders, Ellen accused the judiciary of working against her husband.

She began to cry when she tried to talk about how their kids “are becoming impatient” over the continued detention of their father.

Ellen said the whole experience of dealing with the courts was becoming “stressful”.

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“It is stressful, especially during the court days,” she said.

“You would see that our judiciary is a shame. It is a shame to the nation and the whole world. It is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. It’s a shame and it is always confusing. You spend the whole day roaming around the courts with nothing materialising.

“Just like today, we have been at court since morning, but nothing took place. As a family, we just hope that the Lord will keep him safe for us in the horrible cells that he is living in. It is a place that he is not supposed to be in but our hands are tight.”

Ellen added that, “even for the kids, they are becoming impatient now.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to explain things to them,” she said before she broke down into tears.

Sikhala was arrested on 14 June together with fellow MP Godfrey Sithole and the 14 members of Nyatsime. They were all charged with incitement to commit public violence to avenge the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

While others are out on bail, the Zengeza West legislator remains chained. He is also facing other charges of inciting public violence again and obstructing the course of justice.

Government critics argue that, with harmonised general elections set for later this year, the Zanu-PF government seemingly wants Sikhala not to retain his constituency by keeping him in jail.