Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere has played down National Constitutional Assembly leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s assertions that incarcerated legislator Job Sikhala’s bail could have been negotiated through dialogue.
Sikhala, fellow legislator Godfrey Sithole and 16 other party supporters have been in prison for more than 80 days on allegations of inciting violence in Nyatsime in the wake of slain activist Moreblessing Ali’s funeral.
However Madhuku ignited a storm after he suggested that the remedy to the continued detention of Sikhala and others was dialogue.
“The remedy there has always been clear. The positions that you have seen, the Nyatsime 16 as you put that out, and the issues you’ve raised about Job Sikhala, I think this could have been resolved by a dialogue process. They’re now victims of their own political party that refuses to dialogue,” Prof Madhuku said.
Posting on twitter, Mahere said negotiating bail for Sikhala and CCC members would set a dangerous precedence.
“It would set a dangerous precedent if the right to bail for CCC members became a political question as opposed to a constitutional one. CCC members should be granted bail per the Constitution like Wadyajena did. It can’t depend on negotiating with ED or holding a mass protest. Whether or not you like the CCC, don’t weaponize the law against opponents or gamble with Constitutional rights as a bargaining chip. That’s not the way of constitutionalism. Values matter.
“Constitutionally, the judiciary is independent. Their high offices must be respected. Politicians have no right to interfere with the work of judicial officers. For any person to suggest that this is what should happen is regrettable & offensive to constitutional democracy. The Constitution is supreme – over politicians, over personal opinions and over our like or dislike of any person. In the new Zimbabwe, constitutional rights will be respected even as against our political opponents or unpopular litigants. That’s the essence of the rule of law,” said Mahere.
CCC has been under heavy criticism for not doing enough to push for the granting of bail to the legislators and the Nyatsime activists.