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Prison staff fingered in Sikhala 'poisoning'

Local News
Job Sikhala

JOB Sikhala’s aide, Freddy Masarirevhu, has implicated Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison officials in the alleged poisoning of the incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator on Saturday.

“I spoke (to) Sikhala, who is visibly in a very terrible state. He informed me that on Saturday, about eight men, officers, came to his cell. He said the men informed him that they wanted to conduct a search. He said he was told to be at a distance as they were searching,” Masarirevhu said.

“He said they did not disclose what they were looking for. They moved around his belongings, including his food. After this, he advised me that he went on to eat his food that evening and then he vomited continuously.

“The nurses at the prison had to immediately attend to him. He said had it not been that, he could have died. He was attended to by the nurses for hours as there was some panic. Thereafter, he took 10 litres of water as part of the treatment.”

Currently, Sikhala’s state is stable, he added.

“At the moment, he appears stable, but he said he is still suffering from a stomach ache. He can’t walk properly. He said he suspects that the officers did something. He said they have never searched before in the manner they did. He is still recovering and I hope he gets better soon.”

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services officials could not be reached for comment.

The opposition politician, however, appeared before magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro yesterday in a case he is accused of incitement to commit public violence in 2019.

He was supposed to stand for trial, but the matter was postponed to September 13.

After the magistrate left the courtroom, Sikhala protested against being denied access to his aide and to visit him at the prison court.

“You wanted to kill me on Saturday. I won’t die, God will protect me until I liberate this country from Zanu PF,” Sikhala shouted in court.

He is also facing a charge of incitement to commit public violence after addressing mourners at a the funeral of slain CCC member Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, in May this year.

He is also facing another charge of obstructing justice over Ali’s murder.

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