By Takudzwa Changadeya
Zimbabwean opposition politician Job Sikhala is expected to be released within the next 48 hours following a Harare court’s suspension of his two-year prison sentence on Tuesday.
This decision marks a significant development in the case that has seen Sikhala imprisoned for over a year and a half.
Known for his vocal criticism of the government, Sikhala was arrested in 2022 alongside Godfrey Sithole, another opposition MP, on charges of inciting public violence. These charges stemmed from their alleged role in urging supporters to avenge the death of Moreblessing Ali, an opposition activist killed by a ruling party member.
Despite convictions, both Sikhala and Sithole received a two-year suspended sentence, avoiding jail time unless they commit another offense within the designated period.
This verdict sparked celebrations among Sikhala’s supporters, who gathered outside the courthouse to chant and dance upon hearing the news.
“He is now free. This was the only case keeping him in custody,” Sikhala’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, told reporters.
Sikhala’s release comes amid criticism from human rights groups who have accused the Zimbabwean government of cracking down on dissent.