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‘Half a century NOT OUT!’ – Sikhala pens defiant birthday letter as he turns 50 behind bars ‘persecuted for my deep beliefs in freedom’

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By UK Correspondent

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DETAINED Citizens Coalition for Change legislator, Job Sikhala, was defiant Sunday as he turned 50-years-old, marking the milestone at the notorious Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare where he has been detained since June this year.

Sikhala and fellow CCC legislator Godfrey Sithole were arrested on 14 June 2022 after attending the funeral of political activist, Moreblessing Ali, who was missing for three weeks before being found murdered and her body mutilated on 11 June 2022.

Zimbabwean authorities have accused the MPs of encouraging their supporters to cause violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, during Ali’s memorial.

They are facing charges of inciting violence and were denied bail when they appeared in the magistrates court. Several appeals for bail have since been rejected.

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In a letter marking his birthday, Sikhala was defiant, and showed more concern, not for his plight, but for Zimbabweans and the State of the country under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.

“I’m being denied my liberty together with my colleagues here and being persecuted for my deep beliefs and values in freedom and (the) happiness of our people,” he wrote.

“Evil plotters conspired to ruin my special day and this happy moment by their obsession with persecuting my person. Congratulations to them for them for getting satisfaction from this facade of a charade.

He added; “What gives me utmost happiness is that I am not the first and will not be the last political prisoner to celebrate their birthdays under persecution from an evil dictatorship.

“History is awash with such personalities. Nelson Mandela celebrated 27 consecutive birthdays in prison; Dumiso Dabengwa 7, Lookout Masuku 7, Bakili Muluzi 10, Raila Odinga 10, and many other men and women of upright standing.”

Below is the letter in full …