Job Sikhala’s triumphant return: From prison to politics, Wiwa reveals his next move

Job Sikhala

Job Sikhala plans “Thank You” rallies after release from detention

In a triumphant return to his hometown, former opposition Member of Parliament Job ‘Wiwa’ Sikhala was released from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on Wednesday night after spending nearly two years in detention.

Sikhala, who had been charged with inciting public violence, expressed his gratitude to the ordinary citizens who supported him throughout his ordeal. In a show of appreciation, he announced plans to embark on a series of “Thank You” rallies across the country.

Sikhala’s arrest in June 2022, alongside fellow politician Godfrey Sithole, came after they were accused of inciting supporters of the Citizen Coalition for Change to engage in riots following the tragic death of party activist Moreblessing Ali. Last week, they were convicted on charges related to the alleged incitement. However, Sikhala’s release has sparked celebration among his supporters, who believe he was unjustly targeted due to his outspoken criticism of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

As news of Sikhala’s release spread, hundreds of people flooded the streets of Chitungwiza to welcome him home. The crowd, which included his legal team, had to be dispersed by armed police due to the overwhelming turnout. In the midst of the jubilant atmosphere, Sikhala shared his plans for the future, stating that he would take some time to rest before organizing rallies to express his gratitude and reassure his supporters that he is committed to continuing the political struggle.

“We are not going out to go and see them; we are going out to go and thank the people of Zimbabwe for the great solidarity that they gave me during the period of my incarceration,” Sikhala exclusively told NewsDay. He expressed his deep appreciation for the support he received from Zimbabweans both within the country and abroad, noting their unwavering dedication to his cause.

While Sikhala’s release is cause for celebration, the Ali family, who had vowed not to bury the remains of Moreblessing Ali until Sikhala was freed, is now seeking his guidance on the burial arrangements. Ali, a party activist, went missing on May 24, 2022, and her body was discovered a little over two weeks later, showing signs of brutal murder. Pius Mukandi, also known as Jamba, was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for her killing.

As Job Sikhala prepares to embark on his “Thank You” rallies, his release has reignited discussions around political persecution in Zimbabwe. Critics of the government and opposition members argue that Sikhala’s detention was politically motivated, driven by his strong opposition to President Mnangagwa’s rule.

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