Job Sikhala - Zimbabwe Opposition Party Member

      29/9/2020       Next-->

Today Job Sikhala would have woken up at 5.30AM from the cold concrete floor that he has been sleeping on since his persecution and incarceration at Chikurubi Maximum Security prison 4 weeks ago.
He is not a convicted prisoner, but the vindictive nature of the regime sent him to a prison meant for convicted prisoners, where he is shackled in leg irons and handicuffs like a dangerous and convicted criminal.
His only crime is calling for an end to corruption and looting of public funds!

Job Sikhala is a member of parliament in Zimbabwe and an officer of the High Court just like all registered lawyers.
His only crime is calling for the end of corruption in Zimbabwe, something that is killing our fellow citizens daily after money meant for public services like hospitals has been looted!
His prison cell is meant to house ONLY 16 prison inmates, but like all other prison cells at Chikuribi prison, it is packed with 42 prisoners, and it only has one toilet with NO running water for those 42 men.

At times the cell can have more prisoners, I know so because I shared the same cell with Job Sikhala.
At one point the prisoner officials wanted to bring more inmates so that we would end up around 75 for that night in a cell designed for only 16 prisoners!

This is in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic which requires social distancing, but not at Chikurubi prison!
Sikhala and the other prisoners are locked up in this prison cell for 17 hours daily!
If you fall sick during these 17 hours, you won't get any practical medical help at all.
Many die quietly and the nation never gets to know how life evolves in these prisons because of a deliberate lack of transparency mixed with lies and silly propaganda by the State.

After waking up at 5.30AM, Sikhala joins other prisoners downstairs in section B of the Chikurubi prison where they get porridge without sugar in it, or anything else for breakfast.
Down there they will be around 500 prisoners in section B, yet they only have 2 toilets for use, YES, 2 toilets for 500 prisoners from the 12 cells in section B.
Each section has 12 cells.

There is NO running water in the downstairs area just like in the cells, there is only 2 toilets for 500 people.
Prisoners spent 7 hours of their time downstairs where they are fed and where they exercise.
When I left Chikurubi 2 weeks ago, almost ALL prisoners had NO COVID-19 masks, a direct consequence of the LOOTING of public funds and plunder of national resources which I had reported on in June and July leading to my arrest!

At 10.30AM, Job Sikhala and his fellow inmates are given lunch which comes in old dirty wheelie bins!
It will be badly cooked Sadza and boiled beans with no cooking oil or anything else, just boiled beans with water.
Resembling a concentration camp, prisoners are asked to go on 'Foreign' which is a lining up of prisoners.
'Foreign' is a bastardization of 'Falling In' where the prisoners sit down in lines of 5 if they are in the cell, or more if they are downstairs!

They have no soap, they have no running water-NOTHING.
As a journalist and documentarian, being in prison gave me a front-row seat which allowed me to see how the regime has tragically failed to run even a mere prison!
Lunch comes at 13.30 for Job Sikhala and his fellow inmates, again brought in the same dirty wheelie bins.
This time it is the badly cooked Sadza with boiled cabbages, all these meals are cooked by fellow prisoners.
This is the dietary routine everyday all year round.

They get NO meat although the prison dietary book says that they are meant to eat meat 8 times a week.
This is what happens when the State and government are being looted daily without legal consequence for the crooks and looters!
At 1500 hrs, Job and his fellow inmates are locked up in their cell for the night, where for the next 17 hours they will be sitting and sleeping on the concrete floor with torn blankets heavily infested with lice.
Job is being punished because the State and the regime know that he has NO case to answer in a proper court of law before an honest magistrate or judge!

So the regime has been punishing its critics using the office of a man called Thabani Vusa Mpofu (not the advocate), who is supposed to be an anti corruption prosecutor in Emmerson Mnangagwa's office.
He is the one behind the persecution of Mnangagwa's critics and political rivals!
It is so shameless that our cases which are supposedly criminal are being brought before the Anti-Corruption Courts, that is how the regime is abusing the judiciary!

Instructions are given not to give bail, and like in my case, I started serving prison time without a conviction or even a trial as a form of vindictive political punishment!!
Denial of bail and a delay in pronouncing bail rulings is meant to make sure that you are punished without trial.
When Job's lawyers come to see him at the prison, he will be shackled in leg irons, a form of morbid humiliation!
But like myself, Job understood that today's humiliation is a sideshow, what matters is the ending of corruption and looting of public funds and not our individual punishment!

The citizens should focus on ending corruption which has destroyed this country, they should also stand in solidarity with Job Sikhala because his fight against corruption is for the citizens, not just for himself and his family.
Today Job and his fellow prison inmates as they are locked up in section B of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison have NO soap to wash their hands, NO running water for toilets or for drinking.
The only water they have comes in jugs and 20 liter containers which are then shared amongst the prisoners for the next 24 hours!

Many prisoners use bible pages when they go to toilet, the prison fails to even provide toilet paper.
When it rarely comes, it really feels like a Christmas moment for the prisoners, that is how low Zimbabwe has sunk!
Chikurubi is meant for 1360 prisoners, today it houses over 2500 prisoners.

Job is NOT a convicted prisoner, but he is being treated worse than one, and all Zimbabwean citizens have been able to say is #FreeJobSikhala #ZimbabweBelongsToAll

So whilst you follow comedians on social media in your millions, remember that there is Job Sikhala languishing in Mnangagwa's jail at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for fighting for YOUR rights to have a corruption free society!

Editors Note - Job was granted bail shortly after this was written.


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