ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP officers on Tuesday 9 July 2019 detained and charged Hon. Job Sikhala, one of the top leaders of the opposition MDC party, with plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
ZRP officers charged Hon. Sikhala, the MDC National Vice-Chairperson with subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The law enforcement agents alleged that Hon. Sikhala, who was represented by Obey Shava and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) advocated for the overthrowing of government through unconstitutional means during his address to some MDC party supporters at a political rally held on Saturday 6 July 2019 at Mandadzaka Primary School in Bikita in Masvingo province.
Hon. Sikhala, who is the MDC legislator for Zengeza West constituency, is expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday 10 July 2019.
Hon. Sikhala becomes the latest person since January 2019 to be targeted for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Mnangagwa’s government after Zimbabwean authorities arrested and charged 20 people including opposition legislators, trade unionists and human rights activists with subverting constitutional government following anti-government protests held early this year. Some of the activists, who were arrested in May, were accused of attending and participating in a meeting held in Maldives with the intention to engage in civil disobedience.
Meanwhile, three human rights campaigners namely Rashid Mahiya, the chairperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, This Generation Church leader Pastor Evan Mawarire and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions President Peter Mutasa, who are all charged with subverting constitutional government, appeared before Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateko, where their trials could not commence.
Pastor Mawarire, Mahiya and Mutasa, who are represented by Alec Muchadehama and Tonderai Bhatasara of ZLHR, were remanded out of custody to Tuesday 20 August 2019.
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