Blind-Folded Sikhala Located in Masvingo as Police Arrest MDC Youth Leader

MDC National Vice-Chairperson Hon. Job Sikhala has been located in Masvingo after he was blind folded and moved from Harare by some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers who arrested and charged him with plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who were representing Hon. Sikhala, located him at Bikita Police Station in Masvingo province on Thursday 11 July 2019 after they lost contact with him in Harare on Wednesday 10 July 2019.

The 47 year-old opposition legislator was blind folded and covered in a facial mask to disable his sight from Harare to Gutu when he was whisked away from Harare Central Police Station without the knowledge of his lawyers. The facial mask was only removed in Gutu when he persistently complained about being blind folded.

The Zengeza West constituency legislator was detained at Harare Central Police Station on Tuesday 9 July 2019 after he handed himself over to the law enforcement agents.

Hon. Sikhala, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights was charged with subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to the state, Hon. Sikhala advocated for the overthrowing of government through unconstitutional means during his address to some MDC party supporters at a political rally held on Saturday 6 July 2019 at Mandadzaka Primary School in Bikita in Masvingo province, where he allegedly stated that; “On the issue of liberating this nation, we are a committed leadership that will give ZANU PF head aches and Mr Chibaya was not lying or joking. The war and fight we are going to take to the door steps of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023. That’s not a joke. We can’t have a government which always threatens people in their houses in order to compel them to do what they want.”

Prosecutors charged that when Hon. Sikhala uttered the alleged statement, he was advocating or urging MDC Alliance party supporters to put pressure on the government through the use of illegitimate means to overthrow President Mnangagwa’s government.

Meanwhile, MDC Youth Assembly Secretary-General Gift Ostallos Siziba was set to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Thursday 11 July 2019 after he was detained on Wednesday 10 July 2019 and charged with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Siziba is represented by Moses Nkomo of ZLHR.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights