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Amnesty International calls for release of Job Sikhala – The Zimbabwe Mail

Zimbabwe opposition member of parliament Job Sikhala, centre, attends a political rally in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sunday, Feb 20, 2022. Sikhala has been detained in the harsh Chikurubi prison near the capital, Harare, for almost three months, on accusations of inciting violence. The fiery 50-year-old Sikhala has been arrested more than 65 times in his two-decade of political career but has never been convicted of any crime, said his lawyers. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)


LONDON, United Kingdom, (APO Group) — The continued arbitrary detention of opposition leader and Member of Parliament Job Sikhala and MP Godfrey Sithole is revealing of the politicized justice system in Zimbabwe, Amnesty International said today, 100 days since their incarceration.

“The ongoing arbitrary detention of Sikhala and Sithole is unjust and abusive. It has caused unspeakable emotional distress to them and their families,” said Lucia Masuka, Executive Director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean authorities cannot continue to incarcerate Sikhala and Sithole on trumped up charges

“Zimbabwean authorities cannot continue to incarcerate Sikhala and Sithole on trumped up charges. They must be released immediately and unconditionally.”


Sikhala and Sithole were arrested on 14 June 2022 after attending the funeral of political activist, Moreblessing Ali, who was missing for three weeks before being found murdered and her body mutilated on 11 June 2022.

Zimbabwean authorities have accused the MPs of encouraging their supporters to cause violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, during Ali’s memorial. They are facing charges of inciting violence and were denied bail when they appeared in the magistrates court. Several appeals for bail have since been rejected.

“The continued incarceration of Sikhala and Sithole is a travesty of justice. They are victims of a government hellbent on silencing opposition voices,” said Lucia Masuka.

“Zimbabwean authorities must stop criminalizing dissent and instead create a conducive environment for people to freely express themselves.”


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Politics

Chief declares Zhombe no-go area for Zimbabwe opposition – Bulawayo24 News

ZHOMBE traditional leader, Chief Samuel Samambwa, has declared the district a no-go area for opposition political parties, but complained that successive Zanu-PF governments have failed to electrify his homestead.

Speaking during the commissioning of Sherwood Clinic recently, the traditional leader said the opposition was not going to get any votes from his area, declaring it a preserve of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

He insisted that his subjects would vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in next year’s general elections.

Chief Samambwa pledged his loyalty, and that of his subjects to Zanu-PF, in the presence of Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Larry Mavhima.

“Minister, I want you to take this message to President and tell him that he has our support here in Zhombe. He must be rest assured that the opposition is not going to get anything in Zhombe; that is a Zanu-PF stronghold,” he said.

President Mnangagwa owns a thriving farming enterprise in Sherwood Block, just a few kilometres from Zhombe.

The farming enterprise falls under Samambwa’s jurisdiction.

The Chief however, took opportunity of the event to lash out at government for failing to instal electricity in his village.

“I want to tell the minister that I don’t have electricity at my place. I need electricity, the minister must, therefore, look into that issue,” he said.

Local traditional leaders stand accused of helping coerce their subjects to vote for Zanu-PF in contravention of constitutional provisions clearly stating that they must not leaders must not “be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics … act in a partisan manner (or) further the interests of any political party or cause”.

Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president Fortune Charumbira has been defiant over the issue, declaring that “Chiefs will never leave Zanu-PF’.

“On behalf of all chiefs in this country, I want to tell you that we are together. It’s true we are together. We are behind you. I want to repeat this because there are people who ask us why we come here,” Charumbira told Zanu-PF’s annual conference in 2021.

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Politics

South Africa’s beleaguered Zuma open to return to politics – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Associated Press


JOHANNESBURG: Beleaguered former South African President Jacob Zuma says he is ready to make a surprise return to politics by standing for a top position at the ruling African National Congress’ elective conference in December — if he is nominated by party members.

The 80-year-old Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018 before he was forced to resign amid wide-ranging allegations of corruption in government and state-owned institutions.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison last year for defying a court order to testify at a judicial commission investigating corruption during his tenure, and has since been released on medical parole. Zuma is also facing trial for corruption in a separate case involving a major arms deal the South African government was negotiating more than 20 years ago, around the time Zuma was a deputy president of South Africa.

In a statement released late Monday, Zuma said he had been approached by some ANC members to consider contesting for the position of party chairman at the end of the year.

“I have indicated that I will be guided by the branches of the ANC and that I will not refuse such a call (to contest for the chairman position) should they deem it necessary for me to serve the organization again at that level or any other,” Zuma said.

The party meeting at the end of the year will be crucial to the future of current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is facing stiff opposition to be re-elected ANC leader and stay on as the country’s president.

Zuma has been critical of his successor and the pair are seen to be part of opposing factions within a divided ANC.

Zuma also endorsed his ex-wife, current government minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to contest for the position of president of the ANC against Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa’s position has been weakened by his struggle to get a grip on corruption, a scandal of his own involving a large amount of cash stolen from his ranch, and an ongoing electricity crisis that has recently left Africa’s most developed economy in power blackouts for up to 10 hours a day.

Zuma is still popular among some factions of the ANC and at grassroots levels in some regions, but it’s unclear how he would deal with an ANC rule that anyone facing criminal charges may not stand for leadership positions. The rule also demands that those occupying leadership positions should “step aside” from their positions if they are charged.

The corruption charges Zuma faces are linked to a 1999 arms deal, and the case covers a time when he was a political figure on the rise and then deputy president. He is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales to provide political protection for the multi-billion dollar deal. Zuma has denied the charges and has moved to have the prosecutor taken off the case, claiming he is biased.

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Politics

UK: Opposition MP apologises for calling finance minister ‘superficially’ black – New Zimbabwe.com

NewZimbabwe.com – The Zimbabwe News You Trust is Zimbabwe’s leading online newspaper and published by New Zimbabwe Media Ltd.

The platform brings you the latest breaking News, Business, Showbiz, Sports, Diaspora and gives you everything you’ve come to expect and love. Our Forums are vibrant and gives everyone a chance to be heard. On your computer, tablet smart phone or on our App its quick, easy and free access all the news you love.

NewZimbabwe.com is updated continually with the latest news to help you feed your addiction with stories & photos from Zimbabwe and many more!

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