ED regime cannot silence me: Sikhala
Masvingo High Court judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, recently acquitted MDC vice chairperson Job Sikhala of treason charges after he allegedly called for the overthrowing of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.
The Daily News on Sunday reporter Blessings Mashaya caught up with the firebrand politician in Harare to speak on a variety of issues, politics included. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Q: You have been acquitted, what’s the way forward?
I will continue prosecuting the people’s struggle. The period we are in now does not need individualism. It needs selflessness to the cause of our country.
Our country is transparently under the armpit of a holocaust tyranny.
This tyranny cannot continue to preside over the State of affairs through coercion and bloodshed. This has to come to an end.
And how will it come to an end? I challenge all Zimbabweans to join us in a fight for our freedom.
This is a struggle that no longer calls the MDC alone. It’s now a national project.
The democratic project belongs to all Zimbabweans would they be in villages, schools, universities, military barracks, police camps, prisons, townships, factories, whether you are Zanu PF, MDC, NCA, NDU, or whatever political party, Emmerson Mnangagwa has become the enemy of all of us.
The way he has privatised Zimbabwe cannot be tolerated by a civilised society. The methods of running a State through bloodbath are intolerable and cannot continue any further.
I urge all the people of Zimbabwe to rally behind the clarion call to our freedom.
All this will be demonstrated by the power the people hold.
Omar Hassan AL-Bashir never thought people have power. He thought few rogue elements in the military will perpetuate his brutality, but it came to an end. Every nation belongs to its people.
I also don’t believe all in our security services are rogue. There are real professionals who keep the integrity of the forces.
We have some who believe in executing their constitutional mandate with professionalism and who do not believe in the philosophy of being used to kill their brothers.
Any professional security men or women cannot cross the red line of killing people. Only rogue elements do that. So there is need for every member of our security service to define who you are. Are you a professional or a rogue? It is within this context the struggle for Zimbabwe should be understood.
Q: Many people know Sikhala as a rabble-rouser in the political field, what is the reason behind your actions?
People must differentiate between confrontation and being forthright. I was born just like that. Handirovi mbwa ndakaviga mupini (I cut to the chase).
That was exactly the character of my late father. He would tell you the open truth, whether the truth is palatable or not. I just tell it like it is.
Africa has a tendency of lying to appease or please individuals. Not me, please, I don’t need anything from anyone to pontificate lies and massage bad things. What I say about anything, that’s my honest and truthful opinion.
Dictators always want to hear praises about them. I will never hide my true feelings about anything, I say it out, if you are happy or not it’s up to you, if not hard luck.
Secondly, I am intolerable to nonsense. This government is not only clueless. It is evil.
You can’t murder people and expect some of us to respect you. Human blood is sacrosanct. If you kill anyone or use violence to attain or retain power, don’t expect flattery from me.
I don’t want to be praised by anyone as if I am different from any other person. We are all human beings.
All human beings must be treated with the respect and dignity naturally entitled to a person. Any deviation from that cardinal philosophy of life is unacceptable to me.
Q: Do you not fear for your life?
Fear has been an instrument used by oppressors to silence those who do not share their madness. One retired long serving white member of Parliament in South Africa, Van Der Merwe, who became my friend, told me that during apartheid, they would hang black nationalists by the neck, take them into a helicopter and fly them over the sea and throw them for sharks’ food as an instrument to inflict maximum fear.
He repented and now says such evil should not ever have been done because apartheid fell despite all that brutality against humanity.
Fear in Zimbabwe has been used since 1980. The Matabeleland genocide and holocaust and all the terror and violence that followed thereafter, is the political ideology of a tyrannical and satanic regime which could not tolerate criticism and opposition.
I was born like what I am. I never accepted to be frightened into submission. Life is not owned by the appropriators of power or those arrogating godly powers upon themselves.
It belongs to one God, a God for us all.
So whatever human beings plan cannot be God’s plan.
God has his own plans about me which no one can detect or take control of.
So, I am not afraid of a man of flesh. Whatever comes let it come. Liberating a country from tyrants is not a picnic business of those possessed with fear.
Q: Some critics are saying demonstrations don’t work, what’s your view?
People power works. I don’t know whether you want to ascribe people power to demonstrations.
I am a strong believer in the ideology of people power. If you have people behind you who share the same sentiments and pain, it works.
Go and ask Omar Hassan AL-Bashir, Hosni Mubarak, apartheid SA, even next here in Malawi. Mutharika was just confirmed to be an empty president.
He was moving in the streets, but behind his head he knew, he was now a zombie.
People own everything. They own the power to install or dethrone you.
Q: What do you think is the best way for opposition to take against the Mnangagwa government?
The opposition is in no good shape than now, to drive the people’s agenda. We are here for the business of the people not our selfish interests.
It is incumbent upon us to give direction to the struggle. People believe in a leadership to give direction on how to finish their long awaited freedom. Soon the direction will come. It no longer needs hesitation. No matter how they brutalise us, they will not kill all of us.
Q: You are an experienced politician do you see any changes in Zanu PF in terms of how they respect human rights?
Zanu PF is history, fossilised. A dead donkey surrounded by vultures for food.
All those vamunoona vachitomhoka tomhoka (running around) in Zanu PF are fortune hunters.
It has no leaders at all from top to bottom. It has street dealers and fortune hunters who are using that name for extortionate economic plunder.
They salivate for nothing, besides the bag. All are money mongers who are so corruptible that expecting any change from such a rubric organisation is expecting too much.
Morons generally don’t change. They are empty vessels and skulduggery idiots hanging to it for economic fortunes.
Change should not be the disappearance of individuals from the political scene, but the complete annihilation of a system.
People of Zimbabwe must not yearn for any change in Zanu PF. They must rather yearn for its total destruction. It is an evil cult. Cultism doesn’t change. A cult remains a cult. It must be destroyed in its entirety.
Q: Some critics are saying the opposition is not doing enough to fight for the people?
The project to fight Zanu PF cannot be a business of the few. It is the business for everyone.
Like I earlier said, from the peasants to factory owners, from street boys to the top executives, the challenge is all ours. Leaving this business to the MDC alone will create a nauseating narrative we lived with for years, that tisu takakusunungurai ( we liberated you).
Not again. The struggle belongs to all of us. As leadership we must only give direction not to own the struggle. The struggle cannot be totemised. It is the people’s struggle. It’s all ours.
Q: You are a firebrand politician and you have already been arrested for your combative style, are you going to tone down?
I have been arrested 64 times for my political views. It’s some persecution I endured all my life. Idiots in the tyrannical pedestal think they can destroy the fighting spirit of modern liberation fighters by using arrests as an instrument to silence us all, but unbeknown to them is that it creates the opposite.
Rather than silencing me, it has rather hardened and emboldened my resolve. They should have learnt from history.
Prisons do not silence the voice of reason. It rather intensifies the fighting spirit and determination.
Ask apartheid South Africa. They will tell you that Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki were not silenced by the oppression of a prison. It rather hardened their resolve. Ask the late Maurice Nyagumbo, ask vaMavhaire, ask the late Robert Mugabe.
Incarceration has always had the opposite results. Can you tell me one person who was silenced by arrests in the struggle of mankind.
Wozoti zvako wasvuta mbanje woti haa we will silence Wiwa through arrests. Wanzai bepa (they smoke marijuana and think they can silence me through arrests).
Q: How has your social life been affected since your acquittal?
Stocking, trailing and use of State security agents wherever I am has intensified. Two good examples:
After my acquittal on the 14th of February, State security agents came at OK Supermarket where we were buying groceries for my school children whom I was to visit on the 15th.
I did not come out of my car, but they asked which car I was in from some people who were around.
When my security details got it, they confronted them and they rushed to their car and drove away.
When we left on our way to my village in Gutu, they trailed us and by the time we arrived at Nyika they came and parked right next to my vehicle at the Highway Shops.
When we left to go home they followed us along the dust mountainous road to my village and it was now at night around 9pm. Unbeknown to them we had two cars with more than 30 people.
When we resolved to stop our vehicles in the bush to confront them after switching off the lights, they made a U-turn and sped off.
I did not stay in Harare as soon as I arrived on Sunday from the village. I had a court case to dispose of in Karoi.
The matter was a trial which was due for a long time, as I was not able to attend to it, because of the exigencies of the treason trial.
When they found out that I was at Karoi Magistrates Court, they deployed all the CIOs and members from the military intelligence in Mashonaland West.
I did not care and went on to cross examine the witness the whole day on Wednesday.
When we decided to leave after we postponed the matter to another day for other witnesses to come, they trailed us all the way from Karoi to my house in Harare.
When they flagged my driver to stop between Zvimba and Norton I wanted us to stop and hear what their problem was but my driver refused to stop.
In short, what I am saying is that there is no private life for me anymore.
No more luxury of meeting with friends at places of leisure. I am the riskiest person to be seen in my company at the moment.
So my friends should not think I am ignoring them. I am rather saving them from harassment because of their association with me.
Allow me to finish this fight against them without my associates becoming collateral damage.
But let it be known to them, that if anything happens to me, Masvingo should have been a clear warning to them.
Zimbabwe will be reduced to ruins. The whole country will need reconstruction for years because I know what is in the minds of the people.
Any attempt to terminate my life will result in unprecedented instability that will result in serious bloodbath and that will be the end of this evil regime.
You will never hear about them again. That will be their end. And this I know it for a fact.
Let them continue doing their funny tricks and see the end result.