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Anti-Job Sikhala arrest threats demo steam in UK

By Agencies

UNITED Kingdom-based pro-democracy activists are planning to stage a peaceful demonstration outside the Zimbabwean embassy to register concern over continued threats on political activists back home.

This comes in the aftermath of overt and subtle threats on opposition politician, Job Sikhala, who recently addressed the 16th Annual Human Rights and Democracy Summit in Geneva, Switzerland where he attacked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime for stifling democratic space, gross human rights violations, corruption and other ill-deeds.

In a viral video circulated at the weekend, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube chanted Zanu PF slogans in which he denigrated Sikhala.

“Down with Sikhala,” said Ncube, a long-time Zanu PF apparatchik notorious for alleged killings and forced disappearances.
An organisers of the planned protests, Kelvin Thembinkosi Mhlanga said the danger that citizens face is unprecedented.

“Following the release of Job Sikhala after spending more than 500 days in pre-trial detention, the world of politics breathed a sigh of relief, including diasporans who have been supporting him financially, morally and spiritually.

“We, however, raise concern fearing for his security upon return to Zimbabwe after his truth-telling which is now construed as ‘outbursts’ by the ruling elite,” said Mhlanga.

Fears abound Mnangagwa’s government could invoke the Patriotic Act and arrest Sikhala on spurious charges of trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government.

In a bid to express solidarity with Sikhala and other human rights activists constantly harassed in Zimbabwe, UK residents are organising a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe embassy.

Another member of the diaspora community, Jane Mundangepfupfu of Liverpool, said the struggle for socio-economic and political emancipation continues in Zimbabwe as people are not allowed to associate, gather or hold political meetings while the newly introduced Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency has brought renewed oppression and persecution of the masses.

“The economic situation is so dire following introduction of the ZiG that laughably does not pay for passports or fuel. Citizens are forced to use ZiG when companies owned by top government officials do not accept the same currency as legal tender,” said Mundangepfupfu.

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