Why Zanu PF is determined to keep Sikhala in jail

Godfrey Sithole and Job Sikhala


The Zanu PF regime is determined to keep CCC official Job Sikhala in jail.

The regime has postponed the judgment for Sikhala’s case to February 7 2024.

CCC deputy spokesperson, Gift Ostallos Siziba, on Wednesday described as a sad turn of events the postponement of judgement for Wiwa’s case.

In a statement on X, Siziba said: “In a sad turn of events the magistrate court has postponed the judgment for Hon Wiwa to the 7th of February 2024. A sad miscarriage of justice. #FreeWiwa.”

Reactions To Job Sikhala And Godfrey Sithole’s Conviction For Incitement Of Public Violence

The recent conviction of Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole for incitement of public violence has generated diverse reactions. The duo was found guilty when it appeared before Harare magistrate Tafadzwa Miti on January 24, 2024. Pre-sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 29 for Sikhala and Sithole’s lawyers to persuade he court to issue a less severe sentence.

The National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPA) confirmed Job Sikhala’s conviction and announced the subsequent hearing. In a brief statement issued shortly after the conviction, the NPA said:

Job Sikhala has been convicted of inciting public violence. The case has been postponed to Monday the 29th of January 2024 for a pre-sentencing hearing at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Morgen Komichi, a senior official in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), called for public attendance on the sentencing day, highlighting the significant support Sikhala received during the trial.

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said he was not surprised by the verdict, viewing it as political persecution by the current regime. He said:

As expected, the regime has convicted Job Sikhala of inciting public violence! His defence lawyers will argue their mitigation points on the 29th of January. This is just persecution of political opponents by this deplorable regime! It also means that Job Sikhala will remain in jail until the day of sentencing when he will know whether he will be released on account of bail time served or whether the regime will continue persecuting him.

Clifton, a Twitter user, shared a similar sentiment, claiming that the magistrate, Tafadzwa Miti, had previously referred to Sikhala as an incorrigible criminal, despite the fact that he had not been convicted before. Clifton said:

I’m not surprised that Tafadzwa Miti who is basically a Zanupf activist masquerading as a magistrate decided that Job Sikhala was guilty. This is the same person who once called Sikhala an incorrigible criminal and yet he had never been convicted of any crime.

Another Twitter user, Benard Marima, suggested executive interference, speculating that Sikhala’s comments criticiing President Mnangagwa’s family had influenced the judges’ decision to keep him in jail. Marima said:

The biggest issue here is that Job Sikhala said “Zimbabwe doesn’t belong to Mnangagwa’s mom,it belongs to all Zimbabweans,That video was played to mnangagwa and he was so furious. So all thoz judges as instructed they have no choice bt to keep skhala in jail. Zvinotaurwa

Public reactions on social media showcased a mix of empathy, frustration, and calls for justice. Many expressed sympathy for Sikhala and his family, emphasizing the need for change in the country. Some users questioned the fairness of the justice system and its treatment of political opponents, while others saw the conviction as an attack on democracy and human rights. The case has drawn attention to the issue of politicians being criminalized in Zimbabwe, with calls to free political prisoners and ensure a fair justice system.

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