HARARE – A Zimbabwean court on Tuesday freed on bail an outspoken opposition leader and lawmaker a month after he was arrested for promoting anti-government protests.
Job Sikhala, vice chairman of the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-Alliance), was arrested on August 21 and charged with inciting the public to commit violence.
His name had appeared on a police wanted list ahead of planned protests against corruption and the country’s economic crisis.
He stands accused of posting videos on social media calling on the public to commit violence and revolt against Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Sikhala was released after posting bail of Z$50 000 and ordered to stop posting content online or in WhatsApp groups “with intention to commit public violence”.
Sikhala was one of more than a dozen anti-government activists who went into hiding after police issued an alert seeking information leading to their arrest, ahead of the protests that had been planned for 31 July.
His arrest came after that of another opposition politician and government critic who called for demonstrations, Jacob Ngarivhume, and prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who tweeted in support of the protests.
The demonstrations were de-facto banned on the grounds of coronavirus restrictions.
The scribe wrote:
Job Sikhala has been given bail….
The persecution of citizens should now STOP and the focus should now be on STOPPING corruption, looting of public funds in Mnangagwa’s government and plundering of national and natural resources!
Sikhala has been detained for 32 days on a frivolous charge ONLY meant to persecute and punish him!
They indeed sadly punished him!
Justice Ndewere was scathing at the behavior and contact of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, a thoroughly unprofessional force.
This is what happens when State institutions are used by rogue politicians to repress citizens and conceal their looting of public funds!
Nobody is inciting anything or anyone except an end to the LOOTING of public funds!
We have thousands of citizens dying daily due to lack of medicines in hospitals due to rogue and crooked politicians stealing State funds!
This is what ALL progressive citizens are fighting against and this is what Mnangagwa’s regime should put an end to and STOP harassing citizens!
Sikhala will sleep in Chikurubi prison again tonight because he can’t pay bail deposit since the government offices that hold bail money are now closed!
We know that the persecution of Sikhala and others was driven from Mnangagwa’s office through Thabani Vusa Mpofu.
What have they achieved with this embarrassing act of citizen harassment, persecution and unjustified punishment other than both international and local ridicule of the State and its captured institutions!!
Sikhala had been in remand for over 4 weeks as his bail hearing stolled for various reasons.
Source: Hopewell Chin’ono Facebook