EMBATTLED outgoing Zengeza West lawmaker Job Sikhala, who has been languishing in remand prison for 380 days, says he will no longer apply for bail because it serves no purpose.
Sikhala was arrested on 14 June 2022 for allegedly inciting the public by recording and uploading videos that incited violence on ZimLive Youtube and various social media platforms.
He applied for bail eight times between June and December 2022 and each application was dismissed. He has since stopped making such applications.
“I have reached the Mandela moment, when he, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and others asked his legal team led by Bram Fischer, not to appeal against politically orchestrated judgments because that will serve no purpose,” he said.
He added that he has unearthed intelligence that the state intends to bury him in prison using the courts and captured judicial officers.
“My cases are to be allocated to specific magistrates and judges who carry instructions to convict, no matter the lack of evidence and the same to be confirmed on appeal. All interlocking applications made before the magistrate should not be heard on review or appeal and allow the process towards the fake conviction to move unimpeded,” he told TheNewsHawks.
“All the Job Sikhala applications for review and appeal to be intercepted and locked into someone’s office at the High Court, whom I will mention by name not in the distant future. All judgments on Job Sikhala’s case to be approved by a certain office (I shall name as well) because the office bearer claims to be the one answerable to the executive. The unopposed applications by Job Sikhala despite the lapse of the dice, in terms of the High Court rules should not be heard, or find technical issues to defeat the application.”
Such information has buttressed his decision not to apply for bail.
“Having been equipped with such solid information from unimpeachable forces from the system, it will be naive for me to continuously expose myself to insults passed as judgments. Even the retired judge who was sent by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to observe my trial, told me that the whole case was a big shame after he heard the evidence that was being led by the state,” added Sikhala.
Sikhala is a popular opposition politician candidate known as a firebrand leader who speaks truth to power, but his incarceration has elbowed him out of the 23 August general elections.
He says people behind his lengthy detention and first conviction have done so to ensure his political career is dead and, in return, they were promised higher posts.
“What they will deliver will be procured fake convictions motivated by the strength of the promise made by the minister of Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi to various executioners that they will be appointed judges, regional magistrates and other strategic deployments,” he added.
“This can only happen if they bring Job Sikhala’s head in a platter. Those who rise in life on the backdrop of the tears and sorrows of other people will have a tragic end in life. This is an African folktale of truth. Please mark the words. So, expect fake convictions without even an iota of evidence and keep me in prison until the moment they think they have destroyed me politically or when they have succeeded to kill me in their prison.”
Sikhala has in the past fallen sick while in prison in a case of suspected poisoning. He also had his medication for hypertension withheld for days, but says he has left the issues of his health to God.
“I have left issues of my health to the giver and taker of life, who is God. When frantic efforts were done by my lawyers to then get me attended to by doctors of my own choice, it was refused. I have rejected attempts to be attended to by persons imposed on me by oppressors,” he said.
“Secondly, when I applied in court to have a medical process that needed me to take a week without eating and taking medication to clear my bowl, magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa refused to grant me leave from the trial, saying my trial was supposed to be concluded expeditiously. After this, I noticed, it wasn’t worth it to seek permission from persons of flesh. I left it to God.”
Sikhala has lost considerable weight in his 380 days at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Apart from these health scares, Sikhala says life inside prison has not been easy, but he holds no grudge against the treatment he has been subjected to by prison guards, for they are merely following instructions.
“I will never ever blame the prison services for the challenges and problems I have. It’s beyond them. They carry out instructions and that it where their lives lie to feed their families. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone to be troubled because of me. They were directed to keep me in a maximum security prison, not a remand prison, shacked in chains like a terrorist, as if I am the biggest criminal in Zimbabwe. This is the directive of my oppressors. My oppressors are known and they publicly speak through their mouthpieces on a daily basis on various platforms about their intentions. Hear and see what they say. They will give you their mission,” he added.
Every morning when Sikhala arrives at Harare magistrates’ court, he slowly disembarks from the green truck where he and fellow prisoners are packed like sardines.
His step and the pace at which he walks are guided by the leg irons which are ordinarily used on flight risk suspects such as armed robbers and murderers.
Sikhala remains in high spirits, as he calls upon citizens of Zimbabwe to pray for him.
“I am missing you lots and I love you all. Pray for me and Zimbabwe!!! Continuing my long walk here at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, I am fortified by Nelson Mandela’s saying that: “Men and women all over the world, right down the centuries come and go, some leave nothing behind, not even their names. It would seem they never existed at all. Others do leave something behind, the haunting memory of the evil deeds they committed against other human beings, the abuse of power by unpopular minority, denial of basic human rights to the majority, rapid looting in all spheres of the economy, detention without trial, torture, brutal assaults inside and outside prison, the breaking up of families, forcing people into exile, underground and throwing them into prison for long periods. This is the story of our nation,” he said.
Sikhala is a force to reckon with in politics and, although his deliberate exclusion from the 23 August elections may be viewed as a blow to opposition politics, he has become Zimbabwe’s foremost political prisoner, an icon of the struggle for democracy and freedom.