JAILED Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator for Zengeza West has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of peddling falsehoods about his incarceration, adding this will not break his spirit.
Sikhala, commonly described as a political prisoner, penned a heart-rending letter to mark his 12th month in remand prison.
He also addressed nationals and the international community at large saying his incarceration shows the decay of Zimbabwe’s justice system.
Sikhala was arrested together with some CCC supporters on June 14 last year on violence and obstruction of justice charges after political violence erupted in Chitungwiza’s Nyatsime area following the brutal murder of party activist Moreblessing Ali.
He said June 14 marked the beginning of another cycle.
“I do not know how many more 12-month cycles I shall endure in this dungeon. Only my oppressors know. I do not care at all,” wrote Sikhala.
“They can confine my physical being, but they can never confine my spirit. My resolve remains unshaken. I have not lost hope. I will never lose hope. I do not hope for justice in my own matters.
“Oppressors never serve justice. Oppressors have no shame. I have hope that one day the spirit of Moreblessing Ali will finally find rest and be at peace.”
He expressed hope that one day, Zimbabwe will be counted among the family of progressive and democratic nations. “The end of the oppressor’s reign is nigh. For it is darkest when dawn draws near. Whenever the drum beats the loudest, it is about to burst.”
Sikhala said his detractors had yarned so many tales and woven many versions of his arrest.
“They have invented the biggest lie to cover their shame for jailing an innocent man. Lies have short legs. They claim that I violated a bail condition. What nonsense!
“If I did, what has stopped them from holding an inquiry in accordance with the law, to establish whether any bail condition was violated or not?
“What has stopped them, from bail treatment in that matter in accordance with the law? They have not done so. They cannot do so! For, no bail condition was ever violated!”
He said none of the allegations he was facing had any substance.
“I am no stranger to contrived allegations bearing no substance. I have been arrested for over 68 times now. Hitherto, I had never been convicted of any of the allegations brought to bear against me.
“When I raised this in one of my bail applications, I was accused of boasting that I had never been convicted for any of those offences and this was used as a pretext to deny me bail. I was not boasting.
“I was merely presenting facts as they stood. My oppressors felt hard hit, and they orchestrated a false conviction to blemish my hitherto untainted record,” he said.
Sikhala also dismissed his conviction for obstructing the course of justice.
“Nonetheless, they convicted me. They did not need any evidence. They only needed to send a message. Unfortunately for them, I am hard of hearing if they want me to hear that there will be no justice for a slain woman, callously murdered in cold blood in the most horrendous fashion possible.
“Their message will never reach my ears. They need to seek a new audience. The only message I am getting, and capable of getting, is to never tire toiling for justice and freedom. It will come one day. The night is always long, but the morning will always bring joy,” he said.
Sikhala said he would continue standing with the people even if it costs his freedom.
“I will stand with the people even if it costs my professional and political career. I will stand with the people even if it costs my blood.
“No one should be mistaken to think otherwise. The dumb and primitive attempts by the authors of my misery to divide us through my persecution will not deliver their anticipated results.
“Chain me all you want. It won’t work. It will not work. I will neither tire nor slumber. I will never waive from speaking against injustice. I come from the people. I am one with the people. I will die with the people!”
He also shared his maltreatment in prison where he is always shackled in chains.
“At one point, the prison authorities failed to unlock the chains. They struggled in vain for over an hour. They had to call people from the armoury who had to use a hammer and chisel, putting my leg on the hard cemented surface and started pounding on the leg irons until they broke.
“My left leg sustained serious injuries and got swollen for weeks and when it started healing, my skin was peeling off. This is the kind of torture I am going through on a daily basis, it’s been a full 365 out of 365 days now,” he said. He accused Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi of superintending over all his cases.
“I have received information and intelligence of his intimate, active and direct involvement in all my cases. I would have wanted to ask him in person to confirm or rebut these.
“I also wanted to know whether this most gruesome torture of exposing me to inhumane and degrading treatment gives them full satisfaction or sadism,” he said.
He said he had written to Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Senate Committee on Human Rights to witness the maltreatment.
On the University of Zimbabwe students who were arrested for calling for his release, Sikhala said it had become dangerous for sympathisers to call for his release.
“The full wrath of the State machinery will descend upon you. It would appear that the CID Law and Order Section no longer has any work to do except monitoring social media handles to ascertain what either I or people sympathetic to me say, and follow this up with arrests, malicious charges and refusal of bail,” he said.
“I am today treated as the biggest criminal in Zimbabwe. You have constantly heard about my perceived crimes all year round. I have been brought to trial and am defending my innocence BUT I ask, I ask you today: What became of Moreblessing Ali’s murderer?”
He also accused his so-called friends of deserting him in recent times.
“Friends flock to you in their multitudes when the sun shines on you and during your prosperity, but when trouble visits you, it comes with an exodus of friends.
“Only those who stand with you in truth will continue standing by your side. Hypocrisy is part of human nature and it is a shame without bounds,” Sikhala said.
He also called for free and fair elections.
“We must remain true to the cause. I urge you to go and vote in your numbers. I urge you to vote for the Citizens’ Coalition for Change.
“I urge you to restore Zimbabwe’s lost pride through your vote. We cannot endure another five years of soaring inflation. We cannot endure another five years of economic instability.
“We cannot endure another five years of injustice and oppression. We cannot endure another five years of what the oppressors in Zanu PF are only capable of offering — failure. We are the jewel of Africa. We cannot allow Zanu PF to make us a failed State,” he said.