Job Sikhala falls ill in prison; suspects colon cancer*

Job Sikhala of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), who has been in Zimbabwe’s most feared Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for almost seven months facing charges of inciting violence, says he has fallen ill while behind bars.

In a detailed letter released from his prison cell, Sikhala said, “… It is with regret and most unfortunate that I now share with you a personal issue that that I have kept to myself for the past three weeks.

“It is something that I did not share with anyone and kept for these three weeks. I had kept it to myself for the sake of my children and wife. I know how much it will affect them. I have not been feeling well for the past three weeks.”

Sikhala, who is an opposition Citizens Coalition for Change Member of Parliament for Zengeza West, said the pain if getting worse everyday.

“A pain that started mildly on the left side of my abdomen has steadily grown to be extremely heavy and excessive by each passing day. There is some painful strike that exudes itself from the left side which I don’t really understand and do not know what is it. I pray that it is not colon cancer. It is worrying me very seriously.”

He said the pain started soon after he vomited in prison sometime ago.

“Since the day I vomited and had a ceaseless running stomach, some time ago, which was widely reported, the prison authorities refused to allow my doctor to attend to me. This is despite the fact that my doctors came several times in the company of my lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Doug Coltart. Since then, I have stopped requesting the permission of my doctor to attend to me. The pain is severe during the night especially when I sleep by that left side. I ask all of you dear Zimbabweans to pray for me to be healed of this pain. There is nothing beyond the cure of God.”

Prison authorities were unavailable for comment as they did not respond to messages sent to them on Sunday.

Sikhala also bemoaned the deteriorating democratic space in Zimbabwe saying President Emmerson Mnangagwa is coming with oppressive laws that are worse than those that were used by the colonial master, Ian Douglas Smith.

By Gibbs Dube

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