By Thandiwe Garusa
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) party has denied claims that incarcerated lawmaker Job Sikhala has lost faith and confidence in his local legal team and the party.
Sikhala together with another CCC lawmaker Godfrey Sithole and a dozen other party members were arrested on the 14th of June for allegedly inciting the violence which rocked the memorial service and funeral wake of slain party activist Moreblessing Ali.
They have all been denied bail several times by both the Magistrates and High Court.
A leading international law firm Amsterdam & Partners joined Sikhala’s local legal team in July in a development that has invited serious criticism of the party and the local lawyers.
However, party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the international legal representation was engaged to do international lobbying on Sikhala’s behalf and not because he had lost confidence in his local lawyers.
“It is important to set the record straight about honourable Job Sikhala’s legal representation,” said Mahere.
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“At no point has a foreign lawyer come in because there are no adequate Zimbabwean lawyers; in fact, currently, his legal team is the best in the business in this jurisdiction and, possibly, regionally.
“His international lawyers were engaged so they can do some international lobbying on his behalf. The Zimbabwean crisis has now been internationalised and he is lobbying on that front.”
Mahere added; “The problem is not his legal representation but the system that does not give due fulfilment and respect to the constitutional right to bail.
“The problem is not that their legal representation is bad; the problem is that the system is stacked against them and there have been instructions from Zanu PF that they must be persecuted, and a political message must be send to them.”
The CCC party believes Sikhala’s continued persecution is politically motivated and aimed at silencing opposition members.