Police ban prayers for Sikhala 

Source: Police ban prayers for Sikhala –Newsday Zimbabwe

Job Sikhala

FRIENDS of incarcerated opposition legislator Job Sikhala yesterday accused the police of blocking a prayer session for the Zengeza West legislator, which was supposed to be held at his Chitungwiza home on Wednesday.

Sikhala has spent six months in remand prison and faces a charge of inciting public violence.  His friends have chosen Wednesday as a day of solidarity with the legislator.

Friends of Job Sikhala Solidarity Trust spokesperson Emmanuel Zellers Gumbo said police barricaded roads leading to Sikhala house in Chitungwiza.

“We were supposed to have a prayer session around 5pm at Sikhala’s place and police at St Mary’s had given us the greenlight to do so.  However, we were surprised to see truckloads of police barricading the road which leads to his place. We couldn’t even proceed with our prayer session,” Gumbo said.

“We are dealing with a regime which seeks to control and monitor everyone. It was just a prayer, but the current regime is even afraid of prayer gatherings. We wanted to pray in solidarity, not only with Sikhala, but also the people since the Judiciary had failed us.  Our only hope is God. We can’t continue to see this level of injustice,” he said.

“Notifications are given to regulatory authorities who are officers commanding districts, and normally they are not obliged to advise the national office because in terms of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act; they are empowered to make decisions at local level,” Nyathi said.

Sikhala was arrested on June 14 following violent skirmishes at the funeral of slain opposition Citizens Coalition for Change activist, Moreblessing Ali.

His case hogged media headlines, with several international organisations condemning his pretrial detention.

Meanwhile, Sikhala was yesterday denied bail for the 10th time when he appeared before Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.

He filed a bail application in respect of a charge for obstruction of the course of justice for allegedly saying Ali was killed by Zanu PF. Sikhala has been arrested 63 times but has never been convicted.