Job Sikhala in court speaking to his attorney.
- Job Sikhala was convicted of inciting public violence last week at the end of a year-long trial.
- Another Zimbabwean politician, Godfrey Sithole was also convicted on the same charges.
- Sikhala’s lawyer says the former lawmaker is expected to be released in the next 48 hours.
Zimbabwean opposition politician Job Sikhala is to be released after more than a year-and-a-half in prison, his lawyers said on Tuesday, after a Harare court handed him a suspended sentence.
An outspoken and popular government critic, Sikhala, 51, was one of the most prominent figures to be arrested in recent years in what rights groups have described as a crackdown on dissent in the southern African country.
“He is now a free man. This is the only case that has been keeping him in custody, so he is going to come out,” Sikhala’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo told reporters outside the court.
A former lawmaker, Sikhala was convicted of inciting public violence last week at the end of a year-long trial that supporters said was politically motivated.
Another opposition member of parliament, Godfrey Sithole, was also found guilty on the same charges.
Both were handed a two-year suspended sentence on Tuesday.
This should mean long-awaited freedom for Sikhala, with his lawyers saying he was expected to walk out over the next 48 hours.
A small crowd of supporters chanted and danced in celebration on the court’s steps after the verdict was read out.
Sikhala and Sithole were convicted of inciting supporters to avenge the death of their political ally, Moreblessing Ali, who was murdered by a ruling party activist in May 2022.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/jailed-zimbabwe-opposition-figure-job-sikhala-to-be-released-20240130
Publish date : 2024-01-30 17:51:09