Chamisa hints at diplomatic offensive to free Sikhala and Sithole; admits legal route has failed

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By Reason Razao

HARARE: Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa Thursday gave a sombre account admitting to his camp’s failure to secure the release of legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole along with the Nyatsime 14 activists, saying all legal routes were exhausted.

Sikhala and Sithole have spent 105 days in remand prison with Chamisa emphasising that CCC will remain steadfast in its quest to have the duo freed.

Presiding over his party’s official launch in Harare Thursday of the Pre-Election Pact on Electoral Reforms (PREPARE), a document that outlines CCC electoral demands, Chamisa said his party had left no stone unturned in seeking the release of the lawmakers and 14others.

“We as a citizens movement are taking this issue seriously, we have left no stone unturned,” he said.

“We know what our opponents are expecting us to do, we don’t normally accept invitations from those who do not like us, neither do we accept advice from those who stand at the opposite of the moral and political spectrum, but we have done everything to make sure that within the confines of legality, constitutionality and also peace we are able to secure their release.

“Its been 105 days, Honourable Sikhala and Honourable Sithole are still incarcerated together with the Nyatsime 14. What is clear is that it is an assault on democracy, an assault on the will of the people, but also an undermining of the sovereign declaration of the people of Zimbabwe because Honourable Sikhala and Honourable Sithole were elected by the people of Zimbabwe.”


The CCC leader also raised questions on the the legality and treatment of the MPs in accordance with the Constitution.

Languishing in prison … CCC legislator Jacob Sikhala

“They are not honourable by mistake, they are not honourable by omission,” he said.

“You do not treat honourable members like common criminals, especially on the basis of an allegation which is politically contrived and motivated.”

He added that Sikhala and Sithole, along with the Nyatsime 14, were victims of a failed government.

“What is clear is that Honourable Sikhala and Honourable Sithole did not commit any offence. Their only offence was to stand against repression, oppression, corruption, dictatorship, tyranny and bad governance.

“That surely cannot be an offence because they were voted on the basis of that platform by the citizens of Zimbabwe.”

The opposition party would try other routes in search of justice, including approaching the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN).

“I will not go into detail of what we are doing within the country and across within the region and of course on the continent to reach out to the highest offices, including the UN to make sure that the issue of this pretrial incarceration is dealt with.

“We are very serious, we know as the next government will face many challenges, trials and tribulations our people are going to be persecuted, supporters are going to be subjected to harassment, a lot of traps are going to be set, booby traps in our way, we will resist and overcome all of them,” said Chamisa.