‘Zim a big prison’



ZIMBABWE is one huge Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, where people need to be freed from the yokes of dictatorship and gross human rights violations, opposition MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala said on his release from prison yesterday.

Sikhala was arrested last month after spending close to a month in hiding, fearing arrest for his alleged role in planning the foiled July 31 protests.
He was released on $50 000 bail after appealing to the High Court.

Sikhala said the conditions in which he lived in remand prison at Chikurubi were no better than those of an ordinary person outside the prisons.

“We must also believe that Chikurubi Maximum prison is a prison in which all Zimbabweans are confined in,” Sikhala said.

“The conditions that are there in the prison are also the conditions that the people of Zimbabwe are experiencing.

He added: “I define Zimbabwe as a big Chikurubi Maximum Prison where the people are currently under incarceration and are also in prison because of the dictatorship that is in our country. We know that the civil liberties and rights of our people have been taken away.”

The Zengeza West MP, who has survived treason charges before, was unrelenting saying his cause was legitimate and would not be stopped by arrests.

“The fight for liberties and civil rights is something that is very fundamental. It is not criminal for us to say that we need a government that is accountable to the people that they are governing, we have seen how this country has been brought to where it is because of corruption and theft of public resources.”

Referring to his arrest as well as that of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, Sikhala said: “There is no crime that we committed, it is basically a regime that does not want to be criticised, but the truth of the matter is that, freedom is coming.”

He also blasted the manner in which Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison was being run, adding that a new government led by his party leader Nelson Chamisa would close down the facility and turn it into a museum.

The opposition legislator was met out of prison by fellow MDC Alliance top officials including vice-president Lynnete Karenyi-Kore, spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere and secretary for rural mobilisation Happymore Chidziva.