Former Opposition Lawmaker Job Sikhala’s Continued Incarceration Sparks Concerns of Political Persecution and Manipulation
3 October 2023
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By A Correspondent| In a recent tweet, prominent Zimbabwean academic Brighton Mutebuka expressed deep concern over the prolonged incarceration of former opposition lawmaker Job Sikhala.

Sikhala, a well-known figure in Zimbabwean politics and a prominent critic of the ruling government, has been held in detention for an extended period.

Mutebuka, who has a personal connection with Sikhala, emphasized the emotional, physical, and psychological resilience Sikhala has displayed under extremely challenging conditions.

He highlighted the complex challenges Sikhala faces, including legal proceedings and the impact on his family.

The academic and activist underscored the vulnerability Sikhala faces in his current situation, suggesting that the government aims to break his will and create paranoia by isolating him from his comrades.

Mutebuka described the situation as a personal duel between Sikhala and President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ED), noting Sikhala’s history of fearless defiance and unfiltered criticism of the regime.

He criticized the continued detention, stating that there appear to be no legal grounds for Sikhala’s prolonged incarceration, especially considering his lack of previous convictions.

Mutebuka stressed that in established democracies, such a situation would prompt intervention from the judiciary.

The academic suggested that Sikhala might be held as a political bargaining chip to exert leverage over the opposition or extract concessions.

He called for solidarity and understanding towards Sikhala, emphasizing the regime’s desire to showcase his persecution for their own political gain. Mutebuka acknowledged the limited options for securing Sikhala’s release, indicating that sustained protests and diplomatic efforts might be the best course of action.

In addition, Mutebuka raised concerns about potential manipulation and censorship of information Sikhala receives while in detention, cautioning Sikhala to verify information to the best of his ability given the circumstances.

The continued incarceration of Job Sikhala has ignited worries of political persecution and manipulation, raising questions about the state of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.