Opposition activist Job Sikhala has accused the state of spending a lot of financial resources and logistical deployment to silence him in a letter that he wrote in commemoration of his 51st Birthday.
Sikhala has been in prison for over 500 days now for various charges including that of inciting public violence. He has been denied bail after several appeals.
In a public letter that he wrote to Zimbabweans and the International Community, Sikhala alleged that the state has used nearly 10% of the National GDP which could have been used to alleviate poverty.
He said his court appearances have been marred by heavy police and CIO presence, a development that has never been witnessed in the country. He alleged that his name tops the agenda of all state agencies.
“My name became an Agenda item number one in the boardrooms of all agencies of the state. In the security sector, in the judiciary, in their politburo, its Job Sikhala everywhere.
“The amount of financial, human resources and logistical deployment to fight against me is estimated to have consumed nearly 10% of the national GDP, the resource that should have been deployed elsewhere to ameliorate the poverty and suffering of the masses of our people. Even foreign aid intended for poverty alleviation programs was diverted to fight me.
“For one year four months in more than 100 days of my court appearances, you witnessed it by yourselves, the massive deployment of police trucks loaded with police officers in riot gear membership no less than 500 at every turn. Harare Magistrates Court became the haven of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) hovering every space of the court premises never witnessed in the history of this country. My name became a swear word, some puked at the sound of it and others cursed it. They declared almost an oath that they shall fight Job Sikhala, left, right and centre,” he said.
Sikhala equated his prolonged imprisonment to that of revolutionary politicians like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Robert Mugabe, and Joshua Nkomo who were held by the state for fighting for the political freedom of the people. He encouraged his family to avoid bringing a birthday cake to him, saying it will raise more suspicion for him.
“Second year running, celebrating a birthday in prison under political persecution should remind all of you about our forbearers, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Patrice Lumumba, Sydney Malunga and many others, who celebrated theirs in similar fashion, equally, as victims of political repressions.
“This year, I have advised my family not to attempt to bring a birthday cake present, as an attempt to do so last year, created astonishing accusations that the cake was a threat to national security. A note was written to me that, the cake was not allowed as it was a national security threat. I was not surprised because such paranoia is inherent in systems built in fear of the unknown, voodooism and witchcraft,” said Sikhala.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Zimbabwe’s GDP currently stands at $32.4 billion dollars. Sikhala’s allegations means that the state is using over $3 Billion to silence him, something which is unrealistic.
Efforts to get a comment from ZRP Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi were fruitless as his phone was not reachable by the time of publishing.