Zimbabwe Opposition Official Threatened with Death Whilst In Prison

Harare-A top prison official is said to have threatened to kill arrested MDC Alliance vice chairman Job Sikhala after accusing him of aspiring to lead Zimbabwe, a Harare Magistrate court heard on Monday.

Sikhala’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo said George Mutimbanyoka, the officer in charge of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, allegedly kept Sikhala handcuffed and in leg irons for a whole day on Sunday, a day after he was taken to the prison accused of inciting public violence.

“He was advised that he (Sikhala) wanted to be the president of this country which is undesirable. He was told that he shall die in this prison and was asked to provide a mobile number for his next of kin to be advised when he dies.

“This was despite the fact that he is not a D Class inmate but the officer in charge condemned him and instructed his juniors to detain him in D Class which is for condemned prisoners. He was told by fellow inmates in D Class that seven of them had tested positive to Covid-19 the previous day. On Sunday, four others tested positive with the deadly virus,” Nkomo said.

The court heard that Sikhala was not provided with protective clothing nor sanitized.

“Our client no longer feels safe to be detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. He is willing to stay at any other prison and also we apply that the allegations to be investigated,” the lawyer added.

“Our client no longer feels safe to be detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. He is willing to stay at any other prison and also we apply that the allegations to be investigated,” the lawyer added.

Lawyers are arguing against his placement on remand and want the charges thrown out. Harare magistrate Lanzini Ncube is hearing arguments which will continue this morning.

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