Sikhala demands $1,5m for ‘unlawful arrest’


Tarisai Machakaire

MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala is demanding $1,5 million in damages from the government over his arrest, detention and prosecution over subversion charges last year.

Sikhala wants $200 000 for unlawful and wrongful arrest, $300 000 for pain, shock, suffering and contumelia, $200 000 for wrongful detention, $300 000 for loss of income, $200 000 for malicious prosecution, $300 000 for travel, accommodation, subsistence, and legal expenses incurred as a result.

Sikhala is being represented by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners.
He was arrested on July 9 last year by Stanely Chishamba of CID Law and Order after handing himself over in the company of lawyers.

“The arrest was without warrant, arbitrary and without just cause. Plaintiff was detained in police cells overnight at Harare Central Police Station.

“In ordering his detention overnight, the police did not observe the Wednesbury principles,” reads summons.
“Plaintiff was detained in inhuman and degrading conditions in that there was extreme overcrowding in the holding cells and there were insufficient blankets.”

Sikhala added that there were no functional ablution facilities in the cells and he had to endure the stench of human excrement.

He added that there was neither running water nor toilet paper in the cells.
The court heard that on July 10, he was transferred to Masvingo without being afforded an opportunity to advise his lawyers whom he was also denied access to.

“He was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment when he was being taken from Harare Central to Bikita Police Station and was blind-folded and had a hood placed over his head.

“He suffered verbal insults and threats from the police officers who were transporting him to Bikita.

“He was denied an opportunity to relieve himself despite a specific request to answer the call of nature.”
Sikhala added that his detention deprived him the right to represent his clients and he lost allowances that he gets from sitting as a legislator.

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