Protests erupt for release of jailed opposition leader in Zimbabwe

Protests erupt for release of jailed opposition leader in Zimbabwe

2 opposition politicians convicted of incitement to cause violence as demonstrators protested for their release following murder of activist Moreblessing Ali

By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) - About 100 protesters stormed the Harare Magistrate’s Court while singing and dancing Wednesday as they demanded the release of opposition politician Job Sikhala.

Sikhala was jailed in 2020 on charges of inciting public violence.

But moments after protesters swarmed the courtyard, Tafadzwa Miti, the magistrate presiding over the Sikhala case and that of opposition politician Godfrey Sithole, convicted the pair of inciting public violence following violent protests that erupted following the murder of opposition activist Moreblessing Ali in 2022.

Ali was murdered by ruling Zanu-PF activist Pius Jamba, who has been given a 30-year sentence for the killing.

Sikhala and Sithole are opposition Citizens Coalition for Change politicians while Ali was an activist for the party.

Harrison Nkomo, a lawyer for Sikhala and Sithole, told reporters he was not happy with the ruling.

“It’s really sad. We have come out of the court and magistrate Miti convicted Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole of incitement to commit violence. The matter was rolled over to 29 January for the purposes of dealing with issues regarding mitigation,” said Nkomo.

He said his clients would appeal the conviction to the High Court.

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