By Anna Chibamu
UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe law professor, Lovemore Madhuku, has claimed that detained legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole are victims of their own political party’s decision to refuse to dialogue.
Madhuku, also leader of the opposition NCA party, said this in an interview with Citizens Voices Network.
He was commenting on the failure to secure bail by the Nyatsime 16 – all members of the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC who were arrested in June over political violence in Chitungwiza following the abduction and death of CC activist Moreblessing Ali.
Sikhala and Sithole have been denied bail pending trial on five occasions.
“The issues of Job Sikhala and others could have been resolved by a dialogue process,” said Madhuku.
“The CCC members are now victims of their political party that refuses to dialogue and refuses to be part of POLAD,” Madhuku said.
He urged CCC leader Chamisa to engage President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the matter so the lawmakers and others would be tried early.
“I think that if there were issues to deal with the perception that is coming out strongly that this is a political persecution,” said the NCA leader.
“What would stop that political party from which they belong having an audience with the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa).
“The role of the President there is not to interfere with the courts but to engage the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who would consent to bail. He is the one who would make an arrangement for an early trial and so on.”
Madhuku continued; “Every political leader has to know that these issues are political , so you do not go out there on top of the mountain and say the Magistrate or Judge is a political outpost when you still need either of them in other cases.”
He added; “I have been thinking about it and every time I reflect on this thing, Sikhala, Sithole and the Nyatsime perpetrators are now victims of the failure by their political party to know that politics is about engagement, politics is not always about fighting and if these had a good leadership, they would be out by now.
If you make it a political issue, you engage other political players and then the way it is done, we can say publicly the NPA is able to engage in political discussion. You need to persuade the NPA not to oppose bail.”