Sikhala’s friends worry over his health



FRIENDS of Job Sikhala Trust yesterday said the conviction of Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala (Citizens Coalition for Change), was unfortunate because of his health condition.

Sikhala was convicted on a charge of obstructing the course of justice and fined US$600, becoming the third opposition figure to be convicted in less than a month.

He has been in pre-trial detention since June last year.

Friends of Job Sikhala Trust spokesperson Emmanuel Zellers Gumbo told NewsDay that Sikhala’s conviction was unfortunate.

“Though his health is still unstable, he still suffers from abdominal pain, his fighting spirit is still alive, his conviction to fight will never be deterred by imprisonment nor by any form of persecution,” Gumbo said.

He said attempts by the legislator to consult a doctor of his choice reportedly fell flat after he was refused the privilege.

“The last time he attempted to consult a doctor of his choice, they denied him of that,” he said.

“The conviction did not come as a surprise, we saw it coming. The conviction confirmed one thing — that this is a clear case of political persecution.

“Job Sikhala was arrested for demanding justice for the callously murdered Moreblessing Ali. Where on earth will a whole magistrate mistake such for obstruction of justice?”

In a heart-wrenching letter in January this year, Sikhala revealed that his health had severely deteriorated amid fears that he could have developed cancer of the colon.

This saw his close allies petitioning President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene to ensure the release of the legislator on medical grounds.

Government spokespersons, however, said Mnangagwa could not intervene in respect of the separation of powers.

Sikhala faces two other separate charges.

He faces a charge of incitement to violence following the violence that occurred at the funeral of Ali.

He is charged alongside fellow legislator Godfrey Sithole and 14 other Nyatsime residents.

Sikhala faces another charge of disorderly conduct. He insists that he is a political prisoner.

“Over 10 months, I have been kept from my people and from carrying out my duties and even though I have been kept in prison confinement, I know (South Africa’s anti-apartheid stalwart) Nelson Mandela was kept in prison, but his spirit was never broken and never will be mine,” he said in his mitigation before sentencing on Wednesday.


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