A British parliamentarian has said Zimbabwe must not be readmitted into the Commonwealth following the continued pre-trial detention of Zengeza West MP and prominent opposition politician Job Sikhala.
Baroness Kate Hoey, a member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom (UK), was commenting on Sikhala’s letter which he wrote from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison a few days ago.
Among other things, Sikhala said he had developed a strange illness and was prepared to be killed for defending the values and principles of a free and open democratic society. Said Baroness Hoey:
A shocking abuse of human rights by Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZANU PF. Zimbabwe must not be allowed back into the commonwealth.
Sikhala, who is the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice chairman, was arrested on 14 June 2022 on allegations of inciting violence following the murder of Moreblessing Ali, a Chitungwiza Municipality employee and resident of Nyatsime who was linked to the opposition political party.
His trial only began on January 2023.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth group in 2003 after it had been suspended for a year over alleged human rights violations.