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Activists protest in London as Sikhala clocks 1 year in prison



SELF-EXILED opposition activist Makomborero Haruzivishe says the one-year incarceration of Zengeza West lawmaker Job Sikhala betrays judicial capture by the ruling elite.


 Haruzivishe was speaking after protesting against repression and taking Sikhala’s case to the British Parliament for the second time, hoping to increase international awareness over the case. Sikhala completed a year in detention on Wednesday.

“It is a measurement of how paralysed our courts have become due to judicial capture. It is proof how our justice system is damaged beyond repair that they can’t even self-correct in 365 days. It means all hope and trust in our justice system is lost. It means our only hope for justice in Zimbabwe is to remove Zanu PF,” said Haruzivishe.

Haruzivishe also spent over a year in detention before being granted bail in January 2022 after being charged for kidnapping with intent to promote public violence.

The protest was aimed at raising awareness of the injustices that Sikhala has been subjected to for the past year, with multiple applications for bail having been denied both in the lower courts and at the High Court.

“Building momentum on bringing tyranny in Zimbabwe back on the world stage. Zanu PF is a mafia that operates well above international mafia standards and the world must recognise it as such in all their transactions with these criminals. These are conscious and strategic steps to build a powerful global solidarity with Zimbabweans,” he said Sikhala was arrested on 14 June 2022 after at[1]tending a prayer meeting convened by the Citizens’ Coalition for Change for the late Moreblessing Ali. He was accused of inciting violence.

Haruzivishe was part of a coordinated protest with activists in the UK, under the banner Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA). They picketed for solidarity against repression in Parliament Square, London. He said all participants feel the need to escalate the solidarity for the embattled lawmaker.

 “All participants at the protest on the occasion of Hon Job Sikhala’s one year in prison agreed that there is need to escalate a global solidarity campaign on Zimbabwe, especially in the wake of military state capture that has rendered our justice system a mere political weapon against citizens by the ruling Zanu PF party through ju[1]dicial capture,” he said.

ACTSA released a statement on the day acknowledging that apart from Sikhala’s arrest there were irregularities on the eve of the harmonised election of 23 August 2023.

“ACTSA stands with Zimbabwean civil society organisations and UK-diaspora collectives as they respond to increasingly shocking irregularities in the run up to elections announced for 23 August. Today the diaspora organised a protest in Parliament Square, London, calling attention to the continued pre-trial detention of elected MP Job Sikhala,” read the statement.

Six students have been arrested and have spent over three weeks in prison having been denied bail for malicious damage to property after they allegedly spray-painted buildings in Harare calling for the unconditional release of Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume.

 One of the principals of the opposition MDC Alliance of 2018, Jacob Ngarivhume, was convicted for allegedly inciting violence after calling for peaceful protests against corruption over the use of Covid-19 funds in 2020.

Meanwhile, Sikhala wrote a letter pledging his loyalty to the cause of Moreblessing Ali and getting justice for her death.

This letter, Haruzivishe said, was an introspection into prison conditions.

“His letter gave us an in-depth insight as to what his 365 days in jail were like. He also gave us the ultimate solution to the Zanu PF crisis affecting Zimbabwe politically, economically and socially; hence #ZanuPfMustGo being the ultimate antidote. He also gave a powerful rallying call with regards to elections by urging all to vote for the Citizens’ Coalition for Change. I agree with him because all revolutions end in the ballot box. All revolutions whether violent or non-violent, armed or peaceful – they end in the ballot box! So let’s all go out and vote for change on the 23rd of August 2023,” he said.

Haruzivishe added that the people of Zimba[1]bwe need to maintain solidarity with the Sikha[1]la family given that their breadwinner has been prejudiced of income by the year-long incarceration.

“We need to support him more legally of which the lawyers are already doing so with distinction; we need to support his family by donating, and most importantly; we need to support him in prayer and politically through praying with our ballots for change on 23 August 2023. The ballot is the most potent weapon we have during this electoral period and let’s vote wisely, that is for change because Job Sikhala’s freedom is on the ballot,” added Haruzivishe.

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