They were 16, but now only one remains incarcerated as 14 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists arrested in June following clashes in Nyatsime have been granted bail by the High Court.
The activists were arrested after violence rocked the Nyatsime area in the wake of murdered CCC activist Moreblessing Ali’s funeral. Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole were the high-ranking of the lot. However, the former remains behind bars after the latter was released last week.
Today, High Court Judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi set Z$50,000 as bail for each of the 14 members. But it is Sikhala’s continued detention which continues to hog the limelight as the outspoken Zengeza West Member of Parlimanent’s quest for freedom goes on.
The 14 are Precious Jeche, Audious Makoma, Misheck Guzha, Shepherd Bulakazi, Tatenda Pindahama, Enoch Tsoka, Emmanuel Muradzikwa, Chauya Shopa, Roan Tsoka, Zephaniah Chinembiri, Zecks Makoni, Robert Madzokera, Clever Sibanda and Ephrage Gwavava.
They were represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, duly instructed by Noble Chinhanu of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
Posting on Twitter, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa thanked advocate Thabani Mpofu and said Sikhala’s bail is now a necessity.
“Good News…Bail Granted! Finally the #Nyatsime14 have been granted bail. Now Hon @JobSikhala1 must be granted bail. Thanks to @adv_fulcrum for representing our citizens’ heroes. Glory be to God,” posted Chamisa
Party national spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere said there was no need to celebrate because bail is a constitutional right.
“We breathe a sigh of relief but we don’t celebrate. They should never have been jailed without trial in the first place. Bail is a constitutional right,” said Mahere.
Sikhala is currently undergoing trial.