Job Sikhala saga: ED Mnangagwa’s government sets the record straight


The Government has rejected claims that opposition politician Job Sikhala is a political prisoner, stating that he was lawfully convicted for inciting violence and undermining the country’s peace and harmony.

In a recent statement, Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, clarified that Mr Sikhala’s arrest was conducted in accordance with the country’s laws.

Minister Jenfan Muswere

Dr Muswere emphasized that Mr Sikhala does not fall under the category of a political prisoner, as political crimes should be distinguished from the actions of ordinary criminals. He reiterated that Sikhala’s arrest and conviction were based on the laws of the country.

The Minister also stressed that no one is exempt from the law, and law enforcement agencies will not be deterred from enforcing the country’s laws, regardless of the offender’s political status.

“Political crimes (and hence political prisoners) must be differentiated from the activities and behaviours of common criminals. Mr Sikhala was arrested and convicted in terms of the laws of the country,” he said.

Furthermore, Dr Muswere stated that while the government allows citizens to exercise their constitutional rights, intervention becomes necessary when activities such as hate speech and incitement to violence arise. The government aims to protect the fundamental human rights of all citizens.

Regarding Mr Sikhala’s case, the Minister pointed out that he was found guilty of inciting public violence by the courts, which solidifies his status as a convict rather than a political prisoner.

“The State will not be hindered in its effort to allow the generality of its citizenry to enjoy all fundamental human rights ascribed to them by our Constitution by any individual or class of individuals through proliferation of hate speech and incitement to violence.

“Mr Sikhala was found guilty of inciting public violence by the courts and he is thus not a political prisoner,” he said.

Dr Muswere concluded by affirming that anyone found on the wrong side of the law, regardless of their political affiliation, will be held accountable. The judiciary will impartially adjudicate criminal cases without any bias or favoritism, ensuring justice is served.

In summary, the Government refutes the assertion that Job Sikhala is a political prisoner, clarifying that he was lawfully convicted for inciting violence. The Minister emphasized that no one is above the law, and individuals who commit crimes will face legal consequences, irrespective of their political standing.

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