UK based pro-democacy activists to picket embassy over threats on Job Sikhala after Geneva Summit ‘rants’

Job Sikhala arriving at a UN event in Geneva


UNITED Kingdom-based pro-democracy activists are planning to stage a peaceful demonstration outside the Zimbabwean embassy to register concern over continued threats on political activists back home.

This comes in the aftermath of overt and subtle threats on opposition politician, Job Sikhala, who recently addressed the 16th Annual Human Rights and Democracy Summit in Geneva, Switzerland where he attacked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime for stifling democratic space, gross human rights violations, corruption and other ill-deeds.

In a viral video circulated at the weekend, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube chanted Zanu PF slogans in which he denigrated Sikhala.

“Down with Sikhala,” said Ncube, a long-time Zanu PF apparatchik notorious for alleged killings and forced disappearances.

An organisers of the planned protests, Kelvin Thembinkosi Mhlanga said the danger that citizens face is unprecedented.

“Following the release of Job Sikhala after spending more than 500 days in pre-trial detention, the world of politics breathed a sigh of relief, including diasporans who have been supporting him financially, morally and spiritually.

“We, however, raise concern fearing for his security upon return to Zimbabwe after his truth-telling which is now construed as ‘outbursts’ by the ruling elite,” said Mhlanga.

Fears abound Mnangagwa’s government could invoke the Patriotic Act and arrest Sikhala on spurious charges of trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government.

In a bid to express solidarity with Sikhala and other human rights activists constantly harassed in Zimbabwe, UK residents are organising a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe embassy.

Another member of the diaspora community, Jane Mundangepfupfu of Liverpool, said the struggle for socio-economic and political emancipation continues in Zimbabwe as people are not allowed to associate, gather or hold political meetings while the newly introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency has brought renewed oppression and persecution of the masses.

“The economic situation is so dire following introduction of the ZiG that laughably does not pay for passports or fuel. Citizens are forced to use ZiG when companies owned by top government officials do not accept the same currency as legal tender,” said Mundangepfupfu.

Opposition party, Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) official, Victor Muchavhaira, who is believed to be in self-imposed exile in Malawi, told NewZimbabwe.com time was ripe for Zimbabweans to unite against human rights abuses, August 2023 election fraud, bad governance, corruption, among other societal challenges

“The only problem we have as a country is that Zimbabweans are timid, so afraid of dying. We are not serious about solving problems that we face, the time is ripe for a fully-fledged insurrection,” said Muchavhaira.

“Zimbabweans mete instant justice when they catch a thief stealing bread to feed himself, yet they would not touch someone, a big thief, that steals their pride, that steals elections, that loots government coffers in the name of tenders. They’re quite like nothing happened and they even create jokes about the suffering.”

Conveners of the upcoming demos said they were aware of plans to round up UK based pro-democracy activists and a crackdown on all failed asylum seekers.

“Our sources confirmed that the Zimbabwe regime has started to check on how many of its citizens are going to be deported. The law enforcement agencies expressed their interest in the deportees as they would ask for fugitives in UK to be extradited using the treaty signed in 2022.

“The Mnangagwa regime is bracing to get as many activists as possible who have been constantly exercising their rights by demonstrating at the UK embassy. Authorities in Harare have a list of individuals who they are interested in questioning,” said a source.

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