MDC Alliance national vice chairperson and Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala was yesterday arrested in Tynwald, Harare, after several days of evading law enforcement agencies who were keen to interview him on allegations of inciting public violence.
Sikhala is in police custody, assisting with investigations in a case in which he is alleged to have been one of the advocates for the flopped July 31 demonstrations.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said he will provide more details of the arrest in due course.
The MDC Alliance also confirmed Sikhala’s arrest on its Twitter handle saying;
“MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala has been arrested. He is attending at the police station with his lawyer.
We object to the continued persecution of our members. Job Sikhala has not committed any crime. His arrest is unlawful and we demand his immediate release.”
Party spokesperson, Ms Fadzai Mahere, told the media yesterday that indeed, Sikhala had been nabbed.
Sikhala was amongst the 14 political activists that were wanted by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) sought to question them on their roles in the demonstrations that had been planned for July 31.
Other opposition figures that the Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Law and Order Department has expressed interest in interviewing include Makomborero Haruzivishe, Godfrey Kurauone, Ostallos Siziba, Promise Mkwananzi, Denford Ngadziore, Allan Moyo, Obert Musaraure, Jimmy Kunaka, Peter Mutasa, Robson Chere, Stephen Chuma, and Godfrey Tsenengamu.
Many of the politicians are from MDC Alliance and former Zanu PF Youth members, while Mutasa is Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president. Masaraure leads the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ).
Mkwananzi is a member of Tajamuka, a foreign-funded pressure group.
Sikhala had gone into hiding during the lead up to the 31 July anti-corruption protests which were organised by Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
He had been in hibernation for several weeks with some social media reports claiming at one point, that he was holed up somewhere in Dema, a growth point in Seke District, about 40 kilometres from Harare.
Sikhala’s arrest is part of a wider clampdown on opposition activists since the calls for anti-corruption protests gained traction in mid-July.
Ironically, on Wednesday the ruling ZANU PF party expelled two of its politburo members, Tendai Savanhu and Cleveria Chizema on allegations of supporting the planned protests. However, neither has been arrested to face charges of inciting public violence.