Sikhala a habitual offender

Zivanai Dhewa


Empty vessels make a lot of noise. CCC interim vice national chairperson, Job Sikhala, has of late been making unfounded claims about the country’s judiciary as being captured.

This is stemming from his continued remand in prison and the courts’ decision not to grant him bail.

Sikhala made himself the CCC trouble maker by choosing to defy his bail conditions over and over again, until he could not qualify for bail.

Ever the drama king, Sikhala has made himself a candidate not suitable for bail and the courts took that into consideration in denying him bail.

In an effort to massage his ego, Sikhala is on record for likening himself to revolutionary heroes such as President Mnangagwa, the late former Presidents Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela of Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively, who were incarcerated by the white colonialists for fighting for the freedom of the black majority in their countries.

During President Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month, some opposition members paid attention as he called on all Zimbabweans across the political divide to uphold and preach peace which is part of the Zimbabwean culture.

The opposition CCC received President Mnangagwa’s message on peace.

This distinguishes the President’s outstanding leadership, which sharply contrasts with CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, whose main political modus operandi revolves around impressing the West by constantly seeking attention and sympathy.

This explains Sikhala’s circumstances which he voluntarily created by inciting the orgy of mindless violence and vandalism which rocked Nyatsime in Chitungwiza in June this year.

Sikhala has been arrested over 60 times now and he seems to enjoy it.

Despite being a lawyer, he misguidedly believes that there is heroism in getting arrested on several occasions. He wants to attract unnecessary attention.

The CCC uses crime to fight President Mnangagwa, Zanu PF and the Government so it can earn a few dirty Western dollars by presenting its members as victims of Government when they get arrested.

Sikhala’s life and circumstances clearly illustrate the fact that the attainment of an academic degree does not translate to wisdom or success.

If it did, Sikhala would be a successful lawyer by now.

It would enable him to open his eyes to the fact that he is being used as a pawn in the Biti-Chamisa internal battle for the control of the CCC.

Contrary to opposition claims, his incarceration has nothing to do with the country’s judiciary system. The world knows that in line with the sacred principle of separation of powers, Zimbabwe’s judiciary is independent.

The opposition’s claims of an impartial judiciary is in itself compromised by the CCC’s double standards.

When the party’s members win court cases they keep mum, but accuse the judiciary of being captured when they lose.

This and the fact that they have failed to prove that the courts are captured makes their claims just that – mere claims.

Sikhala should realise that he set himself up as a sacrificial lamb whose continued imprisonment works well in favour of the CCC leadership and the party’s Western allies.

Chamisa and his advisers set up Sikhala so that he could be their “Mohamed Bouazizi” a trigger for revolution as they push their regime change agenda.

It is sad that Sikhala will reap nothing out of his Nyatsime stunt except to pay for his crimes.

A cursory reading of Sikhala’s political history shows that he is a habitual offender right from undergraduate student days at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).

History tells us that in the 1990s Sikhala and his associate, the late Learnmore Jongwe, exhibited violent traits, which led to their popularity among students.

Since then, Sikhala has brushed with the law countless times and has been in and out of prison.

He is now known by the nick name “Wiwa” after the Nigerian writer and environmental activist, Kenule Beeson “Ken” Saro-Wiwa, who was executed by the Nigerian government in 1995 for leading the Ogoni people’s resistance to the extraction of petroleum in their Ogoniland area.

In the year 2000 after winning the St Mary’s seat on an MDC ticket against Zanu PF candidate, the late Christopher Pasipamire, Sikhala was immediately involved in acts of violence and sabotage targeting the ruling party supporters and was arrested on charges of torching a bus in Chitungwiza in 2003.

In 2014 Sikhala was arrested again and taken for questioning on charges of plotting to overthrow the late former President Robert Mugabe in cahoots with the likes of Rugare Gumbo and former Vice President, Joice Mujuru.

In July 2019, Sikhala was arrested yet again and charged with subversion for saying that the MDC would overthrow the constitutionally elected President Mnangagwa before the 2023 harmonised general elections.

He was subsequently released on $5 000 bail. He incited people to participate in the anti-Government demonstrations planned for July 31, 2020 by the so-called July 31 Movement.

He was arrested and spent a month in jail. His bail conditions included not communicating inciting messages on social media or addressing gatherings.

In January 2021, Sikhala made inflammatory remarks that spread like wild fire after claiming that a police officer who had been enforcing the lockdown regulations beat and killed a baby who was strapped on its mother’s back while dispersing hitch-hikers along Simon Muzenda Street in Harare.

The falsehood caused widespread condemnation of Government.

The narrative that Sikhala is a front runner who always leads from the front irked Chamisa who set up a trap for Sikhala by sending him to represent the CCC party at Moreblessing Ali’s funeral.

Chamisa knew very well that Sikhala has an unstable character and would most likely get himself arrested.

Chamisa orchestrated this for Sikhala’s downfall and has declared a checkmate and, like the biblical Pilate, he washed his hands off of Sikhala and his family.

Sikhala knowingly violated his bail conditions during the funeral of Ali, by addressing and inciting the crowds to commit acts of arson, vandalism and violence.

Instead of Sikhala trying to apportion the blame for his incarceration on Government and the judiciary system, he must look within himself and his party.

He has always been an angry, attention-seeking and troubled youth, traits which his party and its leader exploited for political mileage to his own detriment and that of his family.

The false admiration that CCC interim secretary general, Charlton Hwende, and interim co-vice president, Tendai Biti, are showering for Sikhala seems to be attracting negative vibes from Chamisa who has made it his mission to ensure that he does not render support to Sikhala and his family.

Chamisa feels that his party members now prefer Sikhala over him as the CCC’s 2023 presidential candidate. This is because he is perceived as leading from the front when compared to Chamisa’s cautious approach.

It is this narrative that has led Chamisa to distance himself from assisting Sikhala with his court cases.

Meanwhile, Sikhala is also aware of Chamisa’s position and is angry with him for the double standards that he (Chamisa) is exhibiting.

When Chamisa lost to President Mnangagwa in the July 2018 harmonised election, he spared neither resource nor effort in petitioning courts to reverse the outcome.

He even hired South African lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu and his team at a high cost, yet Sikhala has had to make do with the pro bono services of the Western-backed Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Sikhala should know that dragging the Government institutions into the CCC internal party squabbles will not help him to secure bail.

Those who sympathise with him should know that no amount of claiming that he is a political prisoner will get him out of Chikurubi.

If anything is political about Sikhala’s incarceration, it is his party and its leadership that entrapped him into committing a crime in the name of fighting Zanu PF.

The politics of sympathy for claimed victimhood that the CCC is pushing for is a silly strategy.

This is because even the West that backs it does not tolerate lawlessness.

The US government is prosecuting those who participated in the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot in which Donald Trump’s supporters attempted to disturb the confirmation of Joe Biden’s win.

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