Job Wiwa Sikhala, the former Member of Parliament for Zengeza West, celebrated his 51st birthday in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison today. This is the second year in a row that he has spent his birthday in prison. He was sent to prison on June 14, 2022, after being accused of inciting public violence during the funeral wake of a slain CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali. The CCC party strongly opposes Sikhala’s continued detention and expresses their disapproval of the situation. Said the party:
Today is Job Sikhala’s 51st birthday. He has spent both his 50th and 51st birthdays in prison for a crime he did not commit. Job Sikhala is a political prisoner who is being targeted and persecuted solely for his political beliefs. We must continue to advocate for his release.
The party’s spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi shared his personal experience of being detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in 2016. He described arriving at the prison at dusk and witnessing the massive gates opening under the watchful eyes of heavily armed guards. Mkwananzi mentioned being placed in a holding cell with hardened criminals, and the challenges of staying strong for his fellow activists during their month-long detention. He added:
As we celebrate Job Sikala’s 51st birthday, let us remember how torturous Prison conditions can be. More than FIVE HUNDRED DAYS of unlawful detention without trial. This man needs our prayers, our support & our solidarity. Let us use his birthday today to celebrate his life, his sacrifices & his service to the good cause for democracy in Zimbabwe, but let us also recommit ourselves to supporting him & reviving the campaign for the immediate & unconditional release of all political prisoners in Zimbabwe.
Gladys Kudzaishe Hlatywayo, another CCC official, expressed her grief over Job Sikhala’s “unjust” imprisonment for over 500 days while corrupt individuals go unpunished. She highlighted the stark contrast between an innocent man suffering in prison and those who steal from the nation’s funds facing no consequences. Kudzaishe deemed this grossly unfair and called attention to the injustice of the situation. Pindula