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Outrage as Former MP Job Sikhala Undergoes Surgery with Leg Chains in Zimbabwean Hospital

Zimbabweans on social media are expressing widespread anger and condemnation following reports that the jailed former Member of Parliament, Job Sikhala, underwent surgery while being physically restrained in the hospital.

Sikhala is currently incarcerated on various charges, including allegedly inciting public violence and public disorder. Recently, the High Court overturned his May conviction and sentence for obstruction of violence, declaring him not guilty.

Arrested on June 14, 2023, in connection with the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali, Sikhala has been denied bail multiple times despite his deteriorating health and a lack of substantial evidence against him. He has spent over 500 days in pre-trial detention.

Accused of producing a video claiming the ruling Zanu-PF party’s involvement in Ali’s murder and allegedly obstructing police investigations, Sikhala, who has consistently denied the charges, challenged the splitting of the charges as a form of persecution.

Sikhala, who is diabetic, has seen his health decline during his prolonged pre-trial detention. Reports indicate instances of him vomiting blood at Chikurubi Maximum Prison and passing stool with traces of blood in October.

In a recent development, Sikhala underwent surgery to address his health concerns. However, while on the hospital bed, prison officials reportedly fastened and chained his leg, sparking outrage among Zimbabweans on social media.

Prominent figures, including Kasukuwere, expressed their dismay, with Kasukuwere calling it “highly despicable” and questioning the cruelty of such actions in 2023. Another user, Silandule, emphasized the need to avoid subjecting citizens to what was likened to “colonial madness” and called for humane treatment.

Sikhala’s Political Party Condemns Inhumane Treatment, Labels Him a Political Prisoner

The CCC, the political party associated with Job Sikhala, contends that he is a political prisoner facing punitive measures for challenging the government’s curtailment of democratic rights. In response to the disturbing image of Sikhala undergoing inhumane treatment, the party issued a statement expressing strong condemnation:

“The inhumane treatment of Job Sikhala, a political prisoner and opposition member, by the regime in Harare is a matter that warrants condemnation from all concerned local, regional, and international authorities. Despite enduring nearly two years of pre-trial detention for alleged crimes he did not commit, the regime persists in treating him as a criminal. Shockingly, even in a hospital bed, he is subjected to restraints, including leg irons.”

Renowned journalist Hopewell Chin’ono echoed the condemnation of Sikhala’s prolonged detention and decried the “cruel” treatment he is subjected to. Chin’ono said  the cruelty of the ZANUPF regime is evident in the case of political prisoner, opposition leader, and lawyer, Job Sikhala, who has been unlawfully detained without bail.

These statements underscore the ongoing concerns about the treatment of political prisoners and opposition figures in Zimbabwe, prompting calls for attention and intervention from local, regional, and international authorities.


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