Sikhala Addresses Geneva Summit For Human Rights And Democracy

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Sikhala Addresses Geneva Summit For Human Rights And Democracy
Sikhala Addresses Geneva Summit For Human Rights And Democracy

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Former Member of Parliament for Zengeza, Job Sikhala, on Wednesday told the annual Geneva Summit, that discussing Zimbabwe’s human rights situation could result in his imprisonment under the “Patriotic Act”.

The Patriotic Act, officially known as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Act, 2023, criminalises “wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”.

Sikhala was addressing the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy where he was invited as one of this year’s speakers.

The former CCC MP spent 595 days in pretrial detention following his arrest for inciting public violence.

He told the Summit that his arrest was politically motivated and was aimed at getting him out of the way as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU PF allegedly prepared to manipulate the August 2023 harmonised elections. He said (via NewZimbabwe.com):
It was the only way Zimbabwe’s corrupt regime could manipulate the 2023 elections and stop me from participating in them.

They denied me food and visits from friends, colleagues and family.

The regime piled cases against me during the period of my incarceration. I faced five trials and was convicted twice with one being on a law that does not even exist.

Innocent until proven guilty does not apply to anyone who dares to stand up to Mnangagwa’s corrupt regime.

Sikhala said millions of Zimbabweans have fled the country in fear of persecution. He said:

In July 2023 the regime passed the Patriotic Act, a new repressive legislation targeting free speech and association.

Under that law, I am deemed to be committing a crime just by talking to you.

It is no wonder why millions of Zimbabweans have fled abroad in fear of persecution.

Penalties for those found guilty of violating the Patriotic Act include a fine not exceeding level twelve or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both.

Punishment also includes the loss of citizenship, denial of the right to vote and the death penalty.

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