HARARE – Firebrand MDC activist Job Sikhala – who stands accused of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe from power – claims he was battered by cops and tortured by a “foul-mouthed” policewoman yesterday.
Sikhala appeared to be in serious pain when a Daily News on Sunday crew visited him at the Avenues Clinic in Harare, where he was receiving medical attention.
Relating his client’s ordeal, prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, said he had accompanied Sikhala, who is still to be charged, to Harare Central Police Station at about 10am yesterday, after law enforcement agents had indicated that they wanted to question the former St Mary’s legislator further – following Sikhala’s arrest on Wednesday and his later release in the wee hours of Thursday after undergoing gruelling questioning.
“I accompanied my client today (yesterday), who had been called by the police.
“When we arrived there, we went over to the CID Law and Order section.
“They told me that they wanted him to clarify a few things and we were left seated in an office only to see after about 20 minutes that Job had been beaten,” Muchadehama said.
The State media alleged this week that the firebrand politician had met Vice President Joice Mujuru’s emissaries at an undisclosed location in Harare.
During the alleged meeting, Sikhala is accused of having discussed the formation of a coalition to topple Mugabe from power and to plan the launch of a Constitutional Court application against Mugabe’s wife, Grace, on account of claims that she was usurping her husband’s executive powers – all in a bid to humiliate Mugabe.
Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday, the visibly traumatised Sikhala, while expressing shock that cops had beaten him up for no apparent reason, vowed to continue with “the struggle for democracy” in Zimbabwe.
“I was taken into an underground office where there were a number of security agents.
“They took everything that was in my pockets and they made me sit on the floor. The chief superintendent started to slap me, accusing me of moving around with bombs.
“I have never heard such rubbish in my entire life,” Sikhala said.
He also expressed fear that his life was in danger and that he was not sure what would happen to him next.
“I was accused of having gone to Swaziland to seek military hardware from a white German in order to wage a war against the Mugabe regime.
“She (the policewoman) was hitting me, spewing obscenities. It was only this woman who beat me up, and the other officers just watched,” Sikhala said.
Efforts to get a comment from the police on the alleged beating were futile, but Muchadehama said the conduct of the cops was shocking.
“The behaviour of the police is very strange. Instead of being verbally-questioned, my client was beaten.
“This is a serious violation of Job’s human rights. We do not expect this from the police who are supposed to protect all citizens.
“The police must not behave as if they are a rogue organisation. There is a lot of impunity and we are going to make sure that this is thoroughly investigated,” Muchadehama said.
Source: Daily News