By Darlington Gatsi
FORMER Zanu PF youth leader, Jim Kunaka, has fired salvos at main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, for “folding his hands” while legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole languish in remand prison.
He is demanding the duo’s release by September.
Kunaka is among four politicians, who have converged to demand the release of outspoken Zengeza West legislator under the banner of ‘Friends of Job Sikhala Solidarity Trust.’
Sikhala, Sithole and over a dozen other opposition members were arrested in June with efforts to obtain bail hitting a snag five times.
The opposition believes the incarceration of the activists was political persecution by the government.
Chamisa recently ruled out mass action to demand the release of his officials and supporters, arguing CCC was lobbying the international community to put pressure to end further detention.
Kunaka said power struggles and wrangling within the main opposition outfit was punishing Sikhala.
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He challenged CCC to up the ante in demanding the release of the CCC activists.
“I am worried, love me or hate me l do not care. Guys from CCC you have betrayed Job Sikhala and Honourable Sithole and the 16 (CCC activists),” said Kunaka.
“You command half of a million supporters in Harare. Why are you not putting doing more to put the government on a tight corner to release these comrades from prison?
“We know the dynamics of power in CCC. There is someone who is thinking power may be taken away from them. When we are in these kinds of situations, let us forget about power. It is useless sacrificing one of your own.”
The ‘Friends of Job Sikhala Solidarity Trust’ comprises of Transform Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume, Sybeth Musengezi and Godfrey Tsenengamu.
The group says it is has outlined various activities to agitate freeing Sikhala and his colleagues, but was not at liberty to give more details.
Kunaka challenged CCC MPs to crank the heat on government through Parliament. He accused Home Affairs Minister, Kazembe Kazembe of interfering in the case, without elaborating.
“All MPs in Parliament are quiet, going there and drinking tea everyday, enjoying without tasking Minister of Home Affairs to stop interfering with the judiciary.
“You can blame judges, but to me I do not because they are being controlled,” said Kunaka.
CCC deputy spokesperson Ostallos Siziba said the opposition would continue lobbying for the release of Sikhala and 16 others arrested following the Nyatsime skirmishes.
“CCC is a focused party, our members have been failed by the State that is trying to slide the country into a one party State,” said Siziba.
“We continue to demand for the release of 16 including two MPs, who in any normal county have a constitutional right to bail.”