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CCC’s Sikhala on world radar; lnter-Parliament Union to probe MP’s lengthy imprisonment

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By Chief Correspondent


THE Inter-Parliament Union (IPU), a global organisation of National Assemblies, has received and accepted an application to investigate the prolonged jailing of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim deputy chairperson, Job Sikhala.

IPU, which has called for the unconditional release of the hard-talking lawmaker, will focus its investigation on his arbitrary arrest, abuses within prison walls and what his lawyer Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam and Partners LLP, which represents him on a pro bono basis (for free), said was ‘telephone justice.’

Canadian Amsterdam, who has also represented Ugandan opposition leader, Bobi Wine, joined the team of lawyers representing Sikhala in July this year.

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“An application brought by Job Sikhala, a member of the Parliament of Zimbabwe and vice national chairman of the opposition CCC party, who has been held without trial in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison since June 14, 2022 has been accepted by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, and unanimously adopted for further investigation.

“IPU fails to understand how his detention in a maximum security prison could be justified and is alarmed by allegations that Sikhala is being held in inhumane conditions, with reports that he is shackled with leg irons at all times and forced to sleep on the bare floor.

“The allegations made in Sikhala’s application are ‘particularly concerning’ given that the committee had already found on a previous case concerning Sikhala that he had been subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention and torture.

“It fails to understand the factual basis for the arrest of Sikhala on charges of inciting public violence and obstruction of justice in relation to a speech he had made in his capacity as the lawyer of a family of a murdered opposition activist.”

Sikhala was arrested June this year on allegations of inciting violence in Nyatsime after the gruesome murder of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali, by Zanu PF member Pius Jamba.

The Zengeza West representative was arrested alongside fellow parliamentarian Godfrey Sithole and over a dozen other residents.

He has been denied bail six times so far.