Former Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala (CCC), has said he was poisoned while in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. Sikhala, who was set free by a magistrate on Tuesday after spending 595 days in pretrial detention, was reported sick in January and October 2023. Private doctors had to be called in for tests which Sikhala said are still to be completed.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com at his home in Chitungwiza, a sprawling settlement about 25km from Harare, said he suspected Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) had poisoned his food during an unannounced search of a cell they were keeping him in. He said: News that I had been poisoned during my stay at Chikurubi Maximum Prison is true.
I suspect prison officers who conducted an unannounced search of my cell have poisoned the food that I had received from home. For my entire stay, I avoided eating prison food as I suspected that the State was looking for an excuse to eliminate me.
Sikhala said he had to be examined by private doctors after passing stool which had blood deposits while losing considerable weight within a few weeks of noticing that. He added:
You have to understand that they do not have any form of medication. I had to invite my private doctors to attend to me and rely on my family to buy medication for me.
Sikhala and another CCC activist Godfrey Karakadzayi Sithole were convicted on the 24th of January 2024 on charges of inciting public violence by Harare Magistrate Tafadzwa Miti. Miti sentenced Sikhala to serve two years in prison, which she however wholly suspended on condition of good behaviour.