The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) says the selective application of the law by state institutions in relation to incarcerated opposition legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole together with 16 Nyatsime residents pose a serious threat to democracy.
In a monthly report for August titled Politics Ruling the Law in Zimbabwe, ZPP said the Constitution agrees that the State and other functionaries cannot interfere with court operations.
“The Zanu PF government evidently continues to manipulate the judiciary to repress and violate the rights of opposition party supporters. The case of two Zanu PF legislators Justice Mayor Wadyajena from Gokwe-Nembudziya and Dexter Nduna, Chegutu West, who are documented as perpetrators of many human rights violations, were easily granted bail, while members and supporters of the CCC party Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole, and 14 others, are still incarcerated and being denied bail for more than two months.
“The selective application of the law by the Zanu PF government poses a serious threat to democracy. Section 164 of the Constitution, states that the independence, impartiality, and effectiveness of the courts are central to the rule of law and democratic governance, and specifies that neither the State nor any institution or agency of the government at any level, and no other person, may interfere with the functioning of the courts,” read the report
Members of the opposition party CCC Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole’s application for removal from further remand was dismissed on the 22nd of August and they have now spent over 80 days in prison.
Sikhala faces charges of inciting to cause public violence under the Criminal Law and Codification Act as a result of a speech he allegedly delivered following the discovery of the dismembered body of slain CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali whose mutilated body was found in a well 18 days after she went missing.
On 19 August, the High Court of Zimbabwe dismissed the bail appeal for 14 Nyatsime detainees, denying them the constitutional right to bail.
ZPP said the prompt release of Zanu PF-aligned individuals compared to the continued incarceration of members of the opposition CCC shows the partiality of the justice system.