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Startseite Urgent Actions 2022 10 Release the «Nyatsime 16» and drop all charges
UA 090/22
Abgeschlossen am 22. Dezember 2022
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Partial Good News


On 10 November, Godfrey Sithole, Member of parliament for Chitungwiza North, was granted bail after having spent more 149 days in jail in pre-trial detention.

On 15 November, 14 Nyatsime arrested were granted bail by the High Court, after spending at least 153 days in jail. The trials of the Nyatsime 14 for inciting violence has been moved to 24 November.  On 19 November, ZANU PF youth thronged Ephrage Gwavava’s home threatening him with further imprisonment.

Job Sikhala is the only one who remains in prison. He has been in jail for 160days without trial.  His trial for inciting public violence opened on 15 November was supposed to proceed but was postponed. His trial for defeating the course of justice on 17 November was postponed to 23 November and was denied bail in this case. Therefore, his lawyers decided to apply for bail. On 18 November they applied for bail on changed circumstances, and the matter was postponed to 21 November because there was no electricity at the court. Job has two bail application before court. On 21 November, there was no state prosecutor available to handle the case.  The magistrate postponed the bail hearing to Wednesday 23 November at 2:15pm. He was just denied bail today.

The politically-motivated charges against the «Nyatsime 16» are still standing, so please continue taking action on this UA, calling for the charges to be dropped.

Release the «Nyatsime 16» and drop all charges

AI-Index: AFR 46/6135/2022

16 men, known as the «Nyatsime 16», including two opposition members of parliament, were arrested in June for allegedly protesting the murder of an opposition activist during their funeral and charged with inciting public violence, an offence that carries a lengthy prison term often at the discretion of the magistrate. They have been detained for over 130 days without trial and have been denied bail countless times. They now await trial, which is due to begin in November. The Zimbabwean authorities must drop the politically motivated charges against the «Nyatsime 16» and immediately release them.


On 24 May, Moreblessing Ali, an activist from the main opposition party Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), was abducted at Chibhanguza shopping centre in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, a dormitory town, 22km from Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. The alleged abductor, identified by people at the shopping centre, is a well-known activist with the ruling ZANU PF party. On 11 June, Moreblessing Ali’s mutilated body was found dumped in a well at the home of a ZANU PF supporter. ZANU PF supporters quickly denied that Moreblessing Ali’s abduction and murder was politically motivated, instead calling it a «relationship gone sour».

Job Sikhala, a CCC MP and lawyer, who has been arrested a total of 67 times on politically motivated charges without conviction, led the search for Moreblessing Ali and was appointed by her family to be their lawyer. He mobilized calls for justice which was seen as provocative by supporters of the ZANU PF. One ZANU PF councillor insisted that the mourners were not supposed to gather in Nyatsime to mourn Moreblessing Ali’s death, despite Moreblessing Ali’s home being in Nyatsime.

On 14 June, during Moreblessing Ali’s funeral, there were clashes between members of ZANU PF and the CCC which resulted in the destruction of property. Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole, another CCC member of parliament, were arrested and charged with ‘incitement to commit violence or public violence’ on the false basis that they had made utterances which incited violence and also that they supplied vehicles to ferry CCC supporters from the towns of Chitungwiza and Epworth to Nyatsime. If convicted, the offence carries a lengthy prison term often at the discretion of the magistrate. On 14 July, Job Sikhala was additionally charged with «obstructing the course of justice» under section 184(1) (e) of the Criminal Reform and Codification Act, which carries a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both. It is alleged that Job Sikhala uploaded video footage on both YouTube and an online newspaper claiming that Moreblessing Ali was abducted and murdered by ZANU PF supporters and therefore misleading the police in their investigation.

The two have been denied bail countless times, the most recent on 19 October for Job Sikhala. The courts have indicated that they will be tried in November 2022. Meanwhile, the other 14 men have not yet been given a trial date. The lawyers representing Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole have requested that they are given the necessary documents as well as a fixed trial date to carry out the necessary preparations. The court ordered that the prosecutors deliver the documents but they have to date failed to do so, leading to their lawyers filing an application for the prosecutors be declared to be in contempt of court. On 14 July, Job Sikhala’s lawyers applied for the recusal of the presiding magistrate handling the obstruction of justice charge against him on the basis that he was biased.

The case has been heavily politicised and fears are rising that Job Sikhala might have been poisoned in detention after reporting being unwell, with him alleging that he has received information from ruling party sympathisers that the plan is to poison him in jail. Some ruling party officials have been quoted on their social media accounts saying that «they will ensure Job Sikhala is not released from jail».

Job Sikhala (50) is the MP for Zengeza West representing the CCC and is also a lawyer by profession. Godfrey Sithole (40) is the MP for Chitungwiza North. Chauya Shopa (41) is a resident of Chitungwiza. He was arrested because his car was seen on the road to Nyatsime on the day the clashes at the funeral broke out. Clever Sibanda (37), Ephrage Gwavava (35) and Robert Madzokere (30) are CCC activists arrested a month after the incident after being implicated by people who know that they are CCC activists. Emmanuel Muradzikwa (38) is a truck driver. He was not in Nyatsime on the day in question but was implicated because of his relationship with drivers who were hired for the funeral. Zecks Makoni (54), Enock Tsoka (39), Shepherd Bulakasi (40) and Tatenda Pindahama (43) were truck drivers hired to carry mourners to Moreblessing Ali’s funeral. They maintain that they were not at the scene where the violence occurred. Zephania Chinembiri (45) and Roan Tsoka (39) were arrested on the basis that they own the trucks which were used to carry mourners to the funeral. Zephania Chinembiri was not in Nyatsime on the day of the incident. Misheck Guzha (62), Precious Jeche (41) and Odious Makoma (42) were arrested after reporting to the police that their property had been destroyed during the clashes. They did not attend the funeral. Another Nyatsime resident, Felix Biri was abducted on 30 September by ZANU PF thugs and tortured before being arrested and charged with engaging in public violence in connection with the June violence. He was granted bail on 17 October.

Social media guide


President Mnangagwa

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Suggested Tweets

• Investigate the murder of Moreblessing Ali instead of detaining those asking for justice. [Release the «Nyatsime 16» and drop all charges]

• End the persecution of human rights defenders, political activists as well as real and perceived opponents. #FreeNyatsimedetainees [Release the «Nyatsime 16» and drop all charges]

• Release the #Nyatsime16 and drop the politically-motivated charges against them. [Release the «Nyatsime 16» and drop all charges]

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