Fadzayi Mahere, the national spokesperson of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has said Job Sikhala’s continued incarceration is a dark stain on Zimbabwe’s democracy.
She made the remarks hours after Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa Thursday ruled the Zengeza West Member of Parliament has a case to answer on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
Sikhala is being accused of hindering police investigations into the murder of Moreblessing Ali and the violence that ensued in the Nyatsime area in June 2022.
Sikhala was arrested following the violence and has as of 17 March 2023 spent 276 days at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. The courts have denied him bail on numerous occasions.
In a Twitter post seen by Pindula News, Mahere said bail is a constitutional right. She said:
Pane asipo [someone is missing]. If he was free, he’d be championing voter registration across the nation! We demand the release of @JobSikhala1 from detention. His continued incarceration is a dark stain on our democracy. Bail is a constitutional entitlement. He is innocent. #FreeWiwa
Delivering judgement after the Sikhala applied for discharge at the close of the State’s representations Mrs Gofa said the lawmaker who is awaiting trial has a case to answer.
The magistrate said evidence before her, so far, shows that the politician has some explaining to make.
The CCC party says Sikhala’s detention is political in nature as it is aimed at frustrating the opposition party’s 2023 election campaign.