Ibbo Mandaza Criticises Zimbabwe's Imprisonment Of Opposition Leaders
Political analyst Ibbo D Mandaza has criticised the continued incarceration of Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume, stating that it is not only a scandal but also an indictment on the Zimbabwean government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sikhala has been in Chikurubi Maximum Prison since June 2022 without trial, facing charges of incitement of violence and obstruction of justice. Ngarivhume, leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe party, was convicted of incitement to public violence in April 2023 and sentenced to four years in jail for a tweet he posted in July 2020. In a Twitter post seen by Pindula News, Mandaza suggested that the ZANU PF government is worse than the colonial government led by Ian Douglas Smith. He said:
That Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume are still under incarceration as political prisoners is not only a scandal of great proportions but an indictment on those who purport to be in charge of this country. Never thought we would do worse than the Rhodesian regime.Feedback
Mandaza’s remarks come after Julius Malema, the leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, expressed shock at Jacob Ngarivhume’s imprisonment in Zimbabwe. He criticised the Zimbabwean government for jailing Ngarivhume for demanding accountability on how COVID-19 funds were used in 2020, stating that it is pathetic to imprison an activist for holding different political views.
Former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo also claimed that Ngarivhume’s conviction and imprisonment signifies a regression of Zimbabwe’s judiciary system back to the Gukurahundi era, which was a period of political violence from 1983 to 1987.
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Zimbabwe has faced criticism for restricting political freedoms through arrests and harassment of opposition figures, journalists, and activists.
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