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IN what seems like a veiled attack on those within Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) including President Nelson Chamisa, incarcerated former Member of Parliament (MP) Job Sikhala has said those he regarded as friends are yet to visit him at Chikurubi Prison or court.
In a public letter shared on Thursday, Sikhala, who has been in pretrial detention for over 600 days, said he was being taken care of by the masses (ordinary citizens) who were feeding and clothing him and his family while those he expected to have been close to him are yet to bring him a banana at court.
Sikhala was arrested on June 14, 2022, on allegations of inciting violence and negating the course of justice. He has not known freedom since.
Efforts by Chamisa to visit him at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where he is being kept in solitary confinement, hit a snag in 2022 after Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officials declared he could only do so with clearance ‘from the top.’
His second attempt was also not successful.
Former rival, Morgen Komichi visited him while MDC-T President Douglas Mwonzora’s claims that he had an audience with Sikhala at Chikurubi were dismissed as false.
Chamisa’s interaction with Sikhala since his arrest has been at Harare Magistrates Court, once.
“When I was abandoned without a home to cry for help, support and solidarity, the masses of our people in Zimbabwe and in the diaspora responded with a vintage, by adopting me and becoming my foster parents,” reads Sikhala’s letter.
“They are feeding me daily here at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
“Those whom I used to regard as friends have never visited or brought me even a banana at court or here at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for my almost two years in detention.”
Sikhala further revealed there had been a fight over monetary contributions by CCC MPs, for a birthday present. The money amounted to US$20 according to the former MDC Alliance Deputy Chairperson.
The present was eventually not delivered, with Sikhala adding that he had warned his family against receiving aid from ‘hostile forces.’
Added Sikhala: “I long discovered that they have been secretly conniving and working with my tormentors to get rid of me. So they are not hiding. I know everything. If David Coltart and Hopewell Chin’ono fail to execute the mandate I gave to them, my wife knows what to do, when push comes to shove.”
A structured committee for international engagement, led by seasoned labour activist Obert Masaraure has since been announced.
The committee which forms part of the Free Job Sikhala Solidarity Movement has regional and international ambassadors who include Washington Ali, Patricia Chinyoka and Makomborero Haruzivishe (Britain, Ireland and European Union), Hlekiwe Lupafya (Commonwealth) and Tafadzwa Munjanja (America and the United Nations). _*NewZimbabwe*_