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Zimbabwean opposition MP defiant after a year in prison

Zengeza West MP and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) member, who has been in jail for 12 months on charges of violence and obstruction of justice, has written a letter to the nation and the world, vowing to continue fighting for democracy and justice.

The MP was arrested on June 14 last year following the killing of a CCC activist by unknown assailants in Chitungwiza. He and some of CCC supporters were accused of instigating violence and interfering with the police investigation.

In his letter, the MP said he did not care how long he would be detained in the “dungeon” and that his spirit and resolve were unshaken. He said he had no hope for justice in his own case, but he had hope for the future of Zimbabwe and the end of oppression.

He also dismissed the government’s claim that he had violated his bail condition as a “nonsense” lie and challenged them to prove it in court. He said he had been arrested over 68 times before and had never been convicted of any offence until recently, when he was “falsely found guilty of obstructing the course of justice.”

“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 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.

He said he was not deterred by the conviction and that he would never tire of toiling for justice and freedom.