CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa was Monday denied entry into Chikurubi maximum prison where he sought to visit jailed lawmakers Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole and 13 other party activists.
The CCC legislators were arrested a month ago on allegations of inciting public violence soon after the murder of party activist Moreblessing Ali.
They have all been denied bail.
CCC deputy spokesperson Ostallos Siziba said Chamisa was made to wait for three hours before being told that he is a high-profile political leader he was supposed to seek clearance first from the police.
Siziba said they were going to meet police commissioner general Godwin Matanga for a way forward.
“This behaviour by Zanu PF of trying to employ the prisons to act in a manner that is unprofessional and unpartisan is barbaric, inhumane, illegal, and uncalled for because we are Zimbabwean citizens and Zanu PF has no monopoly over the infrastructure of the state.
“We must be able to have access to our champions who are in prison, they are there because they are victims of state sponsored and Zanu PF engineered charges.
“Tomorrow we are going to meet with the commissioner general of the police to find out this new procedure that is illegal and not in the law about how Chamisa is going to access prisoners,” Siziba said.
In Chikurubi President Nelson Chamisa has been denied access to see Hon Sithole, Hon Sikhala & 12 other activists who are in the maximum security facility.
The state argues that President Chamisa as a high profile political leader must be cleared by the commissioner general. pic.twitter.com/w3SDHocNHE
— Gift Ostallos Siziba (@Cde_Ostallos) July 25, 2022
Meanwhile, the opposition CCC party has condemned the continued detention of the legislators and party activists.
“What is extremely concerning for us, is that three of the 14 who were arrested had actually had their homes burnt,” party spokesperson Fadzai Mahere told a South African broadcaster.
“Instead of the perpetrators of that arson being arrested, they are the ones being dragged to court. Two of them are just lorry drivers who were caught in the crossfire of this crackdown by the regime against opposition as if it’s a crime to be CCC and our organisation has been banned.”