Gift Ostallos Siziba, the deputy spokesperson for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and a legislator, was apprehended in Bulawayo on Wednesday under allegations of inciting violence. Siziba has since been granted release, with a court appearance scheduled for Friday.
The charges against Siziba stem from an incident that unfolded at Barbourfields Stadium last Sunday during a football match between Dynamos and Highlanders. The game was prematurely halted in the 37th minute after Highlanders’ supporters stormed the pitch in protest of a free kick decision made by referee Allan Bhasvi. The chaos spilled beyond the stadium, resulting in damage to vehicles and a challenging situation for Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on duty. In total, 19 suspects have been detained in connection with the incident.
In response to Siziba’s arrest, the CCC issued a statement condemning what they referred to as the “continued persecution” of their members. The CCC’s post on an undisclosed platform reads, “Our MP for Pelandaba Tshabalala, Hon @Cde_Ostallos, was arrested today on false allegations of inciting violence. Although he was later released, he has been summoned to court on Friday. The regime has intensified its crackdown against our members after a shambolic, disorganized, rigged, and fraudulent election. This continued persecution must stop. #StopPersecutingCCC.”
The arrest of Gift Ostallos Siziba has raised concerns over the state of political affairs and civil liberties in Zimbabwe, with critics arguing that it is part of a wider pattern of suppressing opposition voices. The CCC has been a prominent figure in the opposition, challenging the ruling party’s dominance.
Siziba’s court appearance on Friday is anticipated to shed further light on the circumstances surrounding his arrest and the allegations of inciting violence. It remains a matter of keen interest for both supporters and critics of the CCC as they watch the developments closely.
This is a developing story, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.