By Leopold Munhende l Chief Correspondent
MDC Alliance president, Douglas Mwonzora, on Saturday visited incarcerated Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) interim deputy chairperson, Job Sikhala at Chikurubi Maximum Prison amid claims the St. Mary’s parliamentarian had refused to entertain him.
Mwonzora told journalists he had done so in solidarity with a colleague in the opposition trenches, barely a day after Sikhala’s spokesperson, Freddy Masarirevhu, claimed the MDC president had been told off.
Masarirevhu said Sikhala had turned down the opposition leader for security reasons.
“He is not willing to meet Mwonzora; this is because he does not want any overtures from any quarter other than general citizens of Zimbabwe as well as members of his political party, so he is not willing to meet Mwonzora,” said Masarirevhu.
“Mwonzora did apply to meet Sikhala a few months ago and Sikhala denied that request, the position remains the same.
“His reasons are primarily security related; he is saying he was informed of a meeting where Mwonzora was present.”
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Mwonzora, a former secretary general in the MDC Alliance where Sikhala was before formation of CCC in February, said the matter must be solved politically.
His relationship with former comrades, now in the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC has remained sour.
“This must be resolved politically, we believe that the opposition must show solidarity with one another,” said Mwonzora after the visit.
“We are not perturbed by stories appearing on social media, they are designed to drive a wedge within opposition and we are not going to fall for that.
“We came here to show solidarity, this is an issue about humanity, about the families that were left behind. I do not require permission in terms of the law from any quarter to see accused people, we did everything that the law requires to do.”
His spokesperson, Chengetai Guta, said Mwonzora could not share what he and Sikhala had discussed.
“Sikhala is not doing too well; anyone who is being denied his basic liberties will definitely not be doing well,” said Guta.
“We are, however, not at liberty to publicise what they were talking about at the present moment.
“What we know officially and by his own admission is that Freddy was appointed by Job to assist his wife and family.
“Sikhala was advised by Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officials about our intended visit and he did not express any reservations.
“Freddy’s allegations against Mwonzora about some Mt. Pleasant meeting are not only slanderous, but baseless and malicious.”