Zanu PF, the ruling party in Zimbabwe, has called for increased security for imprisoned Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala, who has spent over 200 days in jail on charges of inciting violence and defeating the course of justice. Zanu PF Director for Information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, stated that this was necessary due to Sikhala’s recent accusations that some of his allies were trying to bring him poisoned food with a friendly smile. “The State should increase security for Job Sikhala following his expression of real fears of danger from his peers in CCC,” Mugwadi said on Twitter. “Counter-killing in opposition is real but always finds a scapegoat in blaming the Zanu PF. The hypocrites he refers to are his rivals in CCC.”
Sikhala expressed these fears in an emotional New Year’s message from Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where he also reported feeling unwell. “Some wished me dead. I am sick. Please, they must then pray for my death… Some plotted schemes to destroy me by spreading false intelligence given to them by their handlers and are dabbling in rumor mongering and get into deals to the extent of carrying poisoned food to deliver it with a friendly smile. I am aware of all their shenanigans,” Sikhala said.
Some critics have claimed that CCC leader Nelson Chamisa is failing to support Sikhala. “The University of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison has revealed to me treacherous hypocrites, sell outs, colluders with my persecution, opportunists trying to capitalize on the predicament of the moment for cheap political and financial gain from my tormentors,” wrote Sikhala.
The CCC legislator was arrested along with a dozen other activists for allegedly inciting violence in response to the death of a party member. The other activists have since been released.