Job Sikhala Jr Reveals Heartbreaking Reality of His Father’s 500 Days Behind Bars.

Job Sikhala Jr opened up about his father spending more than 500 days in prison without bail or a conviction as hope starts fading of his release.

Speaking in an interview, Sikhala Jr, just 23 and a law student said his most important job is to “look after the family, put food on the table and make sure the family is safe.”

“As the eldest son, my attention has shifted to the family more than anything else. I must make sure that the family is safe and that they have something to eat. It has been difficult, but we have adapted to the situation. We don’t know when my father is going to be released. Our hope has faded away from the shock of such inhuman treatment,” he said.

Job Sikhala Sr has been jailed over 60 times, and has spent over 500 days in prison, his appeal for discharge was dismissed and postponed to November 20.

“The days my father has spent in pre-trial detention can amount to a prison sentence. This is a terrible and inhuman way to treat an innocent citizen of this country. It is very disappointing for these captured institutions to continue behaving in such a way. It seems every judge or magistrate is afraid of releasing him. This makes us think they are hidden hands somewhere controlling the judgement not to release him. There has been no positive reaction from the government to the calls for my father’s release.”

“As Zimbabweans, we have become dangerous cowards by failing to make calls for his release, even organisations that are fundamental in our country that advocate for justice are not putting efforts into the call of his release,” he added.

On October 30, Sikhala Sr spent his 51st birthday in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, solidarity messages calling for his release and birthday wishes poured over social media. But for the Sikhala family, there was nothing to celebrate.

“This is my dad’s second birthday in prison, and it’s very disturbing. We celebrated nothing; how can we celebrate a birthday with zero morale? It’s not only us as a family that is suffering from my father’s arrest but it’s also people in the community where we live. A lot of children used to have school fees paid by him and the elderly were helped with food hampers and medication. His arrest has affected many people and we feel the absence of my father,” Sikhala Jr said.