Job Sikhala Arrested

Peter Chimutsa, a director in Sikhala’s Office, said the former legislator for St Mary’s was picked up by members of the Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station, who allegedly indicated that they would be pressing treason charges against the controversial politician.

On Monday Sikhala led MDC99 executive members in a peaceful march towards Munhumutapa Building in Harare, which also house Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Sikhala submitted a demand for the GNU to come to an end and that there must not be elections in Zimbabwe as long as President Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party controlled the process, arguing that would be tantamount to ‘commitment to bloodbath’.

“Sikhala was arrested around midday Tuesday and taken to Harare Central Police Station. The police claim to have compiled statements by Sikhala dating back to 2005 which they allege to be treasonous,” said Chimutsa.

Wayne Bvudzijena, the national police spokesman, was not immediately available.

But in most of the statements, Sikhala has been criticising President Mugabe’s alleged dictatorship.

“By end of yesterday (Tuesday) it was difficult to establish more information about the whereabouts of Sikhala after he was held incommunicado by the police,” said Chimutsa.

The MDC99 leader last week announced and gave notice of commencement of action by his party to press for and demand an end to the GNU and also that President Mugabe must not be allowed once again to preside over the declaration of election dates, their conduct and management as well as announcement of results as has been the case for 31 years.

Sikhala is no stranger to arrest, torture and abuse by Zimbabwean police, having been arrested more than 50 times since his days as a student leader at the University of Zimbabwe and developing into an MP in 2000 until he formed the MDC99 in 2010.

“The MDC99 strongly condemns the arrest of the party president and calls on all progressive forces to call for his release. No amount of intimidation can, and will, stop the demand for an end to the promiscuous GNU as well as the abuse of power by the Mugabe dictatorship,” said Chimutsa.