Sikhala Solidarity Movement denies political ambitions, vows “protracted struggle” for prisoners’ release

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By Darlington Gatsi

JOB Sikhala Solidarity Council says it does not harbour any political ambitions but will lobby for the release of political prisoners.

The solidarity council, formed last year from behind bars by former Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Job Sikhala, is lobbying for the release of the firebrand politician.

In a statement, the organisation distanced itself from claims it is a political outfit.

“The Job Sikhala Solidarity Movement, notes with disgust desperate attempts by tormentors of Sikhala, to portray the Movement as a new political party.

“The Movement is a united front for pro-democracy campaigners who seek to push for freedom of all political prisoners and strengthening of democracy in Zimbabwe.

“The Movement doesn’t seek to assume State power but to open up democratic space, so that Zimbabwe can hold free, fair and credible elections, closing the chapter of disputed elections and any form of manipulation,” read the statement.

The solidarity council was established on the back of CCC’s criticism by political observers following its failure to clamour for the release of Job Sikhala who has endured over 18 months behind bars.

The organisation has encountered several hiccups with ZRP blocking its rallies.

“We call upon Citizens from all walks of life who subscribe to the liberation promise of a just, free and equal Zimbabwe to join the Solidarity movement and help push for judiciary independence, sustainable people-centred economic planning, the release of political prisoners and electoral reforms in Zimbabwe.

“The 24th of January, Freedom is an important day on the movement’s calendar. The Movement is looking forward to the release of Job Sikhala who has spent almost 600 days in prison. Freedom for Job Sikhala will mark the beginning of a protracted struggle towards Freedom for all oppressed people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are encouraged to flood the Harare Magistrates Courts on Freedom Day,” read the statement further.