Sengezo Tshabangu Vows to Advocate for Job Sikhala’s Release

Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed Secretary General of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has pledged to work towards securing the release of imprisoned opposition member Job Sikhala. Tshabangu holds the top leadership and Nelson Chamisa accountable for Sikhala’s continued incarceration.

Sikhala has been in prison since June 2022, facing charges of inciting violence during a funeral wake for a slain CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali. He had multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain bail.

Tshabangu revealed in an interview with local radio station ZiFM Stereo that he plans to send a delegation from CCC to negotiate Sikhala’s release. Tshabangu believes that a political solution is necessary for Sikhala’s freedom. He said:

I am negotiating with the State for Sikhala’s release. I will be sending a delegation to meet the State authorities that Job is not supposed to be where he is because he was thrown under the bus by our movement and this is sad that our movement can go and visit Sikhala and cry and yawn for his release yet they know behind their back.

I am saying this because I am inside CCC. I will be meeting Ziyambi Ziyambi, the minister of justice. I will also be meeting in the near future Obert Mpofu, the Secretary General of Zanu PF. These are the people that I have sent emissaries to meet with. It is underway.

Tshabangu revealed that he is seeking the support of the regional organisation, Southern African Development Community (SADC), regarding Job Sikhala’s imprisonment. Nelson Chamisa has also mentioned that they have reached out to SADC and the African Union (AU) for assistance, but have not received a response. Tshabangu argued that pursuing legal avenues has been ineffective since Sikhala is considered a political prisoner, similar to Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era in South Africa. He added:

A political prisoner is different from a criminal. We are going to negotiate. I have written to SADC. I have informed them that we are engaging Zanu PF for the release of Job Sikhala. So we will be sending a delegation to SADC for the summit. They will be talking about Job Sikhala’s release. We have tried legally, we have failed.

Tshabangu accused Nelson Chamisa’s associates of being responsible for Job Sikhala’s continued imprisonment. Sikhala has been in pre-trial detention since June 2022 and celebrated his 50th and 51st birthdays in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Tshabangu claimed that individuals with criminal backgrounds influenced Chamisa to avoid pursuing a political solution for Sikhala’s release.

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