Sengezo Tshabangu, interim secretary-general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has voiced a mix of emotions regarding the release of opposition politician Job Sikhala after 595 days of pre-trial detention.
While expressing relief at Sikhala’s freedom, Tshabangu raises concerns about the potential violation of his constitutional rights during his extended pre-trial incarceration.
Tshabangu’s statement acknowledges the bittersweet nature of Sikhala’s release.
“I have learnt with a profoundly bittersweet feeling that my comrade and brother Job Sikhala has been released from Chikurubhi Prison this evening and gone home to be with his family.”
Tshabangu highlights the joy of Sikhala’s reunion with his family after such a prolonged period of separation.
However, Tshabangu also expresses concern about the constitutionality of Sikhala’s detention without bail.
“The feeling is bittersweet because, while bail is a constitutional right and Job should not have been jailed for 595 days without bail, it’s a huge relief that he’s at long last free tonight and that is something truly joyful.”
“My fervent hope and prayer is that Job will find the time he needs to be with his family, to rest, to reflect on what has happened, to reenergise and to reconnect with the citizens who have steadfastly stood with him throughout his painful ordeal.”
“I am mindful that Job’s incarceration was an untold sacrifice to the cause of a free democratic Zimbabwe.” Said Tshabangu.
Tshabangu expresses gratitude to those who supported Sikhala during his imprisonment.
“On behalf of the entire CCC family, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to his welfare and wellbeing while he was in prison and those especially his legal team, who helped to secure Job’s freedom.”