Job Sikhala charged with treason

Outspoken opposition MDC MP and lawyer Job Sikhala

MDC Deputy National Chairperson Job Sikhala been charged with subverting constitutional government which is a crime against the state and is facing up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

Reports from Harare indicate that Sikhala has been detained and will appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Sikhala is accused of telling MDC supporters that President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be overthrown before 2023.

Human Rights Lawyer Pedzisai Ruhanya said, “With respect, while my friend Hon Job Sikhala’s purported freedom of expression may be undesirable especially in authoritarian regimes such as Zimbabwe, it is definitely not TREASONOUS. Treason happened in November 2017. Even Smith was not overthrown but Mugabe was clear treason!”

The law of Zimbabwe described subversion in this manner:

(2) Any person who, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe

(a) organises or sets up, or advocates, urges or suggests the organisation or setting up of, any group or body with a view to that group or body

(i) overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means; or

(ii) taking over or attempting to take over the Government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the Government; or

(iii) coercing or attempting to coerce the Government;

or

(b) supports or assists any group or body in doing or attempting to do any of the things

described in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of paragraph (a);

shall be guilty of subverting the constitutional government and liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twenty years without the option of a fine.