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Govt goes after Sikhala’s lies at Geneva rights summit

By Staff Reporter

THE government has condemned utterances made by ex-Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala at a rights summit held in Geneva recently.

In his speech, Sikhala who was in pretrial detention for 595 days until his eventual release blasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime for stifling democratic space and gross human rights violations.

He further told delegates his arrest was politically motivated and a ploy to block him from participating in the August 2023 general elections.

Sikhala added that he could be arrested for the presentation using the Patriotic Act which bars anyone from “wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”. Punishment for offenders includes loss of citizenship, denial of the right to vote and the death penalty.

His remarks drew the ire of high-ranking ruling ZANU PF officials, including Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube and government spokesperson Nick Mangwana who accused Sikhala of lying.

In a statement, Information Minister, Doctor Jenfan Muswere castigated Sikhala over his remarks underscoring that they were tilted towards defaming the nation.

“This wishful malicious depiction of the political situation in Zimbabwe is wholly and materially false. The nature of his criminality evoked the application of criminal procedures measures, which were relevant to the demands of our justice system.

“His conviction and acquittal in some of the cases attest to the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. It would be anarchical if our law worked in favor of a criminal’s comfort,” he said.

Muswere said genuine victims of human rights were the people who endured the gross and dehumanizing effects of the sanctions.

“Therefore deserved spotlight should be beamed on the millions of people who have borne the brunt of the illegal Western imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he added.

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