Sikhala thanks nation and family for rallying behind him

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Job Sikhala, who was released from prison on Tuesday night after nearly two years has thanked Zimbabweans and his family for standing with him throughout his ordeal.

Sikhala was freed after spending 595 days of pre-trial detention on charges of inciting public violence in 2022.

The former Zengeza West MP was jailed in 2022 for obstruction of justice and inciting public violence after saying that the ruling party, Zanu PF, had killed an opposition activist, Moreblessing Ali, which it denied. 

Sikhala has denied all charges against him and his lawyers said they will appeal his conviction and sentence for public violence incitement charges.

On Tuesday evening after being released from home, Sikhala took to his X account and posted a heartfelt message, thanking the people of Zimbabwe and his family for standing with him throughout the time he was incarcerated.

“For nearly two years, I suffered in my oppressors’ prison. You prayed for me to be released from the jaws of my tormentors. You made loud clamours for my release as you know that I was innocent. You stood with my family. I am crying as I am typing this message. Your love strengthened me throughout,” Sikhala wrote.

Sikhala reaffirmed his commitment to the struggle for democratic change in Zimbabwe.

“I deeply understand the pain and agony we shared together during the time of my unmitigated oppression,” said the politician. 

“But let me reassure all of you that I am prepared to pay any price for the love of my country, I am prepared to pay any price for the love of the people of Zimbabwe, I am prepared to pay any price in defence of democracy, freedom, and the happiness of our people. To all Zimbabweans in the country and the diaspora, I thank you.”

He expressed his gratitude to political organisations, the media, civic society, churches, the working people, student bodies, professionals, and Members of Parliament, both domestically and internationally, “for ceaselessly condemning the tyrannical persecution perpetrated upon me by my enemies.”

“Let me also thank members of the diplomatic Corp from world democracies and Africa whose solidarity was priceless,” he said.

“I also want to thank world governments who remained alert to what was transpiring on my persecution. To the Free Job Sikhala Solidarity Movement, you were the missing link in Zimbabwe’s political equation. To my lawyers, words alone are insufficient to express my gratitude. To Mai Sikhala and family, thank you very much for your love. With all my love, May the Almighty God bless all of you”

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