Sikhala ‘disappears’, MDC in dark on party deputy chair’s whereabouts

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By Mary Taruvinga

MDC deputy national chairperson, Job Sikhala, who was expected to appear in court Wednesday, on charges of subversion, “disappeared” with the party claiming he had literally been abducted.

MDC secretary for legal affairs, Innocent Gonese told journalists outside Rotten Row Magistrates’ Court in Harare, Wednesday afternoon that they had been “sold a dummy” by authorities.

“This amounts to abduction. He (Sikhala) just disappeared,” an exasperated Gonese said.

The Mutare Central MP added: “The police told us the National Prosecuting Authority had consented to jurisdiction issues and made us to believe that he (Sikhala) was now appearing at Rotten Row Court. But it’s clear they sold us a dummy and diverted our attention.”

Sikhala was arrested mid-morning Tuesday, after being summoned by police over utterances he allegedly made at a party campaign rally in Masvingo’s Bikita district last weekend.

The Zengeza West MP reportedly claimed the MDC was planning to “overthrow” President Emmerson Mnangagwa before he finishes his mandate in 2023.

The MDC immediately issued a statement distancing itself from Sikhala’s statements indicating these “were his personal views” adding the party was committed to democratic change of government.

Gonese said the MDC was now in the dark as to Sikhala’s whereabouts.

“He was abducted in broad daylight and we just have no clue as regards his whereabouts.

“We are assuming they have already taken him to Masvingo as they had indicated earlier on,” he said.

Earlier Monday there had been reports the State was preparing to have Sikhala appear before a Bikita Magistrate.

However, the fluid situation changed after it emerged the MDC vice chairperson would appear at Rotten Row Magistrate’s Courts after lunch on Wednesday.

A crowd to sloganeering party supporters had gathered outside the court before it was announced there would be no initial remand for the MP.