Job Sikhala

Zimbabwe: imminent release of opponent Job Sikhala

After 19 months behind bars, Zimbabwean activist Job Sikhala, a leading opposition figure, will be released following his sentence last week to two years in prison for inciting public violence. His lawyer announced the end of his detention.

Job Sikhala, MP and leading member of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change in Zimbabwe, will be released after being convicted of inciting public violence. The sentence, which was suspended for two years, was linked to accusations that Sikhala and MP Godfrey Sithole incited opposition members to avenge the tragic death of activist Moreblessing Ali.

The disappearance of Moreblessing Ali, followed by the discovery of his mutilated body in a well, deeply shocked the country. Sikhala was also accused of transporting activists to the young woman’s funeral. After more than a year and a half of detention in a high security prison in Harare, his release is scheduled for this Wednesday.

Harrison Nkomo, Sikhala’s lawyer, stressed the importance of this release, telling the press outside the Harare court: “He is now a free man. “It’s the only case that kept him behind bars, so he’s going to get out of prison.” The news of the release was greeted with enthusiasm by dozens of supporters who expressed their joy in court.

Job Sikhala, arrested more than sixty times over the past two decades, is a central figure in the Zimbabwean opposition.