JOB Sikhala is not new to controversy and political persecution. But this time he is facing a grave criminal charge allegedly for calling for the “overthrow” of the Mnangagwa Government at a rally in Bikita. Wiwa is a passionate politician who has had a brunt with the law on several occasions given his history politics that spans back to college days at the University of Zimbabwe.
By Liberty Makusha
His utterances are nothing criminal at law given that it was mere political bunter said by a politician. His mentor, the late veteran politician and former Prime Minister Tsvangirai once called for Mugabe to leave peacefully or be removed violently.
Robert was not trigger happy to abuse the police and the courts like ED.
ED has charged twenty-two people including civil society organisations with treason in less than 2 years surprisingly after usurping power from a constitutionally elected government through a bloody coup in November 2017. ED used unconstitutional means to assume the presidency after conniving with General Chiwenga to dispose Robert Mugabe from office before his constitutional mandate had expired.
Current persecution of alleged state opponents including refusal of bail for Wiwa and other human rights defenders is a key tenet of tyrannical states.
This further shows that the regime is running scared of people’s anger.
The state has practically declared war against citizens.
It is a classic case where former allies, citizens and the Army who collaborated to force Robert Mugabe out of office have drawn battle lines.
ED is afraid of demonstrations as evidenced by the daylight shooting of unarmed civilians in full glare of international media on the 1st of August 2018.
The shoot to kill order has not been revoked as citizens were killed and maimed in January following Government hiking of fuel prizes in local currency.
Wiwa has become a perfect candidate to be used as an example of how ruthless the system is prepared to go when it comes to preserving itself in power despite naked evidence of failure on all fronts.
ED’s rule is characterized by persistent abuse of Presidential Powers rendering Parliamentary democracy a mere toy. Allegations of executive interference with the judiciary is evidenced by courts failure to deal impartially with politically motivated crimes.
ED once tweeted that he had instructed the National Prosecuting Authority to release Tendai Biti after his botched asylum bid in Zambia.
It does not require a legal expert to see that allegations levelled against Wiwa are not criminal.
The system has found a scapegoat to arrest and show its ruthlessness to such persons who would want to utter radical political banter.
It remains to be seen how the already tainted judiciary will handle this case.
It is a travesty of justice for the Courts to remand citizens in custody for exercising their freedom of speech guaranteed in the Constitution.
It is the expectation of all local and international stakeholders to see the immediate release of all political prisoners and halting of heavy handedness against voices of dissent.
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