Sengezo Tshabangu, who has self-identified as the secretary general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has pledged to secure the release of the detained opposition figure Job Sikhala. Tshabangu has placed the responsibility for Sikhala’s prolonged detention on the organization’s leadership, including Nelson Chamisa.
Sikhala has been imprisoned for over twelve months following his arrest on charges of inciting violence in Nyatsime in 2022. Despite repeated attempts to obtain bail, Sikhala, a vocal member of the opposition, has consistently been denied by the judiciary.
In a recent dialogue with a local radio broadcaster, Tshabangu revealed his intention to send a CCC delegation to engage in discussions aimed at negotiating Sikhala’s release.
Tshabangu believes that Sikhala’s situation requires a political intervention rather than a legal one. He expressed his commitment to engaging with government officials, stating his plan to meet with Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Zanu PF Secretary General Obert Mpofu. Tshabangu has already initiated contact with these officials through intermediaries to facilitate Sikhala’s release.
Additionally, Tshabangu is reaching out to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to garner support for Sikhala, who he considers a political prisoner. This move mirrors claims by Chamisa that efforts to engage SADC and the African Union (AU) have previously been unsuccessful.
Tshabangu emphasized the distinction between a political prisoner and a criminal, underscoring his dedication to seeking a negotiated release. He mentioned that correspondence with SADC had already taken place and that a delegation would be dispatched to the SADC summit to discuss Sikhala’s situation, highlighting that legal avenues had been exhausted.