Supporters of jailed Citizens Coalition for Change legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole, have castigated their party for neglecting them as well as taking care of their families while in remand prison.
The two will spend more time in jail after their bail appeal was struck off the roll by High court judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi. The two were arrested following accusations of inciting public violence in Nyatsime area to avenge the death of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali.
The two legislators were denied bail by deputy chief magistrate, Gibson Mandaza, who ruled that they were likely to cause public violence. The magistrate also ruled that Sikhala was likely to reoffend since it was not his first time committing a similar offence. In their appeal through their lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bamu, the two challenged the magistrate’s ruling.
Supporters have lambasted their party leadership for riding on Sikhala and Sithole’s names, while neglecting them to rot in jail and not expending enough resources and efforts to guarantee their freedom. The two have been in custody since June 14.
According to Sikhala’s relative who visited him at Harare remand prison, the activist was dejected and bitter that his party, particularly the leader Nelson Chamisa, is busy politicizing their arrest to gain international sympathy, while neglecting him and Sithole.
“I visited Sikhala in prison and he was in low spirits. He told me that he expected his party to show solidarity by visiting them in prison bringing food, but to date nothing has been done. He accused the party leadership for fundraising in their names, but converting the proceeds to their own use. He is regretting sacrificing his freedom for a party that seems not to care about him or anyone,” said the relative.
Sikhala’s relative added that Wiwa was angry that the online hype #FreeNyatsimeTrio had fizzled out without materializing on the ground and he is now faced with the reality of serving jail time alone.
A source within the CCC told this publication that when the trio was arrested, the CCC branches in the UK and Sweden raised a substantial amount to challenge the incarceration. However, the party’s legal team led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu warned Chamisa that the courts are captured by Zanu Pf and the chances of winning were very slim. Mpofu suggested to Chamisa that it was better that the raised funds be used for other party programmes instead of wasting a case they would lose.
The same source added that some funds sent by the National Endowment for Democracy through the Legal Division of Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe to assist arrested activists, was embezzled by that CSOs’ leader, Peter Mutasa, who is busy fighting a rebellion within the organization from rival factions that are calling for his immediate resignation following his misappropriation of US2,3 million that was received from their usual Western donors meant for operations.
Some opposition activists have been accusing the CCC of using them for their political ends and later abandoning them to languish in prison when arrested. Yvonne Musarurwa, one of the three activists jailed some 20 years ago for killing a police inspector in 2011 at an MDC rally, dumped the Nelson Chamisa faction to join the MDC T when she was pardoned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018, citing negligence by CCC during her time in prison.
The ex-convict, Tungamirai Madzokere, was deserted by his wife who eloped with another man because she was failing to take care of the family as the party had abandoned them