Dear Zimbabweans and my Worldwide friends:
I write to all of you after my almost 16 months of incarceration in the Hitlerian concentration camp of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. I am under political persecution by the regime in Zimbabwe. I did not commit any crime. I am not a criminal, I will never be one and no one will create one out of me. I am a political prisoner, persecuted for being an opponent to the regime.
I write to you in different circumstances. When I was arrested on the 14th of June 2022, I was the Member of Parliament for the good people of Zengeza West. 16 months down the line, as per the desires and wishes of my persecutors, I am displaced. Congratulations to them for achieving, the political profit they wanted. At the time of my arrest, I was running a very successful law practice in Chitungwiza. I am advised that my law offices have been shut down and ruined. In their illusory thoughts, they think I will count losses, and in their tradition of thoughtlessness, they are making comical antics and inebriated postures.
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe said, “True leadership demands complete subjugation of self, absolute honesty, integrity and uprightness of character, courage and fearlessness and above all, a consuming love one’s people”.
Professor Arthur Mutambara goes further to teach us that, “you can influence and change reality without official or formal power, and yet you can have the position of authority while having no influence or impact”.
It must be known that a leader must not have a delicate skin. I told myself that if I truly believe for what I am suffering for, that is, the cause of the downtrodden, as symbolized by Moreblessing Ali, I must be prepared to suffer or even to die for the principles and beliefs. I will not accept anything or anyone to change my principles. Since boyhood, it was naturally inherent in me, to give a voice to the downtrodden and more importantly, protect their rights against the scourge of abuse of power by those in leadership positions.
When I was thrown into Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, some good soul, from the National Intelligence Systems, whispered to me that, it was long planned, that I must be thrown into prison for a long time to teach me a lesson, of who wields power in Zimbabwe. I quickly notified myself that surviving prison, calls for immense reserves of mental strength. I had to arm myself with those things that enhanced my inner stability and discarded everything that might weaken me. I became hardened. I started reading voraciously, books that sustained me and internalized where I read about the lives of others who were once in similar position with my new station in life, whose connective theme is the human struggle and triumph against insurmountable ordeals. In my reading, I came across the truth by James Baldwin, who told me that, “Force does not work the way its advocates seem to think it does. It does not reveal to the victim the strength of his adversary. On the contrary, it reveals the weaknesses, even the panic of his adversary, and this revelation invests the victim with patience. Furthermore, it is fatal to create too many victims”.
Imprisonment, murder, poisoning, torturing and the use of terror and violence as instruments of political organization by unpopular regimes, is the weakest and most unsophisticated weapons and methods used against political opponents. It depicts cowardice and desperation. When I was tipped last year in December, dear Zimbabweans and my worldwide friends, about the plot to assassinate me through poisoning, I did not linger. No one will grow horns. I only informed my family, my lawyers, selected political leaders and friendly embassies. I was and still prepared to suffer martyrdom for the sake of freedom of our oppressed masses. There are several men and women who walked the road of pain and scars collected as the ultimate prize of pursing the truth and justice. I am prepared to suffer for my principles.
In the state of affairs in our country, one must take sides. Either you are sincerely with the downtrodden masses of our people or you are on the side of the oppressor. The moment has come to choose. The masses of our people have been reduced to destitute members of society. We have been pauperized with unmatched increasing misery. Can anyone please tell me the reasons why I am in jail?
Prison, a place intended to be a punishment, became the most valuable college for me. It became the place I discovered and understand myself and many things. It is the place I was able to think, discover and reflect on many things including my relations with certain persons, who on the daylight behave like angels, but are profound witches at night. Like Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, who portrayed Nelson Mandela as a friend and publicly called for his release, but behind the scenes condemned the Release Mandela Campaign as a gimmick and privately warned the apartheid military establishment that, Mandela was the most dangerous threat to national security and national stability and that it would be irresponsible to let him out. The same script was being played by our own Bishop Abel Tendekai Muzorewa in Rhodesia. Pretending to be holding an anointed scepter, roaming around the four corners of Zimbabwe, from East to West, from the South to the North, he was publicly denouncing the incarceration of the nationalist leaders, but privately he was telling the Rhodesian kingpin, Ian Douglas Smith, not to dare release Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe and other nationalist leaders as they were terrorists and a danger to national security.
The character of someone is measured by facing up to swelling difficult situation. Let it be known that I am a man who would never ever breakdown even under the most trying circumstances. Martin Luther King Jnr taught me, “if a man hasn’t found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live”.
Under the barrage of attack from your immortal enemies, never be surprised that when you look behind, you will realise that you are by yourself and those who attempt to stand in solidarity with you come under attack, blackmail and humiliation, from the angels of the daytime but profound witches of the night. Only true friends and strong characters remain steadfast with you, while opportunists melt like morning dews.
That’s the character of an insincere struggle. Those who were attacked and humiliated in my name, let me reassure you, that you have found a special place in my heart. Your solid personality is immeasurable and shall ever be remembered. Solid fraternal brotherhood, in the environment of our opportunistic struggle, like the one we have today, where selfishness and deception are the order of the day is a rare golden characteristic of individuals.
In the world where some don’t stand on principle but chasing after opportunity, and along the way in chase of opportunity distort private conversations and expose their disordered nerves. Those in desperate pursuit of opportunity invented stories using my name to ingratiate themselves to the unstable and intended recipient to flower their limitations. Be advised that I know everything that happened and was said about me and caused sorrows and tears to many who became victims in my name. My heart bleeds and my eyes tear ceaseless by that several people were humiliated after they have been labelled Job Sikhala sympathizers. Blackmailing is the art of foolishness through distorting someone’s name for the purpose of opportunism.
Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart, to all those who are standing with me in Zimbabwe and worldwide. Your love is recorded and will never be forgotten. I was stunned with the swift response of love after the visit by my children here in prison bidding me farewell back to school, in tears that I haven’t paid their school fees and that they were going back to school without supplementary needs. I warned them that tears are not good under whatever circumstances.
Rather they must thank God, to have a father, who afforded them education at good schools at the time when I was not deprived of my responsibilities to fend for them through incarceration. There are children of victims of oppression in memory history who became angry at their fathers for being incarcerated for a cause. I told them that Nelson Mandela’s children suffered untold poverty and humiliation in the hands of his oppressors until God raised good men and women who ameliorated their misery, so they must brace for the worst and that they must start to disabuse their mindset from thinking that the situation is till the same.
Swiftly, my good lawyer Harrison Nkomo, despite having spent hundreds of hours representing me for free on the Moreblessing Ali cases, paid fees for my two daughters at boarding schools. Honourable David Coltart through the Family Trust paid Fidel’s fees. Honourable Rusty Markham, my new Member of Parliament for my new domicile, Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, came on board with some significant contributions to my other son’s school fees who is doing ‘A’ level. Such love is not taken for granted. It is a mark that will live forever in my heart. I thank you brothers. I also would like to thank all those who helped my family during my difficult times.
The greatness of man and women is seen by what they say and do for others during times of trials and tribulations. If need be, I will direct my wife to sell every property of ours to the last spoon to sustain my family during the period of my incarceration occasioned by my oppressors. It is foolish for anyone to underestimate my inner resolve to suffer any consequences for the cause I am standing for. I did not commit any crime. I am a subject of tyrannical oppression because of my political beliefs that will never be changed by anyone even under the threat of a gun pointed on my head.
Pray for me, pray for Zimbabwe, I love you all!!!!!!!!
By Job Sikhala
Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison