Amnesty International has called on Zimbabwean authorities to release incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole and 14 others.
The opposition members are facing charges of inciting public violence in the wake of slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali’s funeral in Chitungwiza’s Nyatsime area.
The Executive Director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe, Lucia Masuka, said the continued incarceration of the opposition legislators reveals the politicisation of the justice system in Zimbabwe.
“The ongoing arbitrary detention of Sikhala and Sithole is unjust and abusive. It has caused unspeakable emotional distress to them and their families.
“Zimbabwean authorities cannot continue to incarcerate Sikhala and Sithole on trumped up charges. They must be released immediately and unconditionally As critics of the government and members of the opposition are frequently harassed and arrested, Amnesty International believes that the charges against Sikhala and Sithole, and the denial of their bail, is an effort to persecute and silence political opposition by the Zimbabwean authorities.
“Zimbabwean authorities must stop criminalizing dissent. The continued incarceration of Sikhala and Sithole is a travesty of justice. They are victims of a government hell-bent on silencing opposition voices. Zimbabwean authorities must stop criminalizing dissent and instead create a conducive environment for people to freely express themselves.” said Masuka