Former opposition MP Job Sikhala who has been languishing inside Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, over what his party brands as politically motivated persecution, has appointed pro-democracy activist Obert Masaraure as the national organiser for his mobilisation campaign to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s totalitarian regime.

Sikhala has been in prison without trial for more than a year following his arrest on July 14, 2022 over charges of allegedly inciting public violence.

In a statement circulating on social media, Sikhala noted that Masaraure, the President of the Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), has been standing in solidarity with him hence he decided to give him the duty to set up solidarity structures across the country.

“My dearest Zimbabweans, I Job Sikhala, a political prisoner incarcerated in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison by the regime in Zimbabwe, do hereby announce the mandate granted to the following persons to organize, mobilise and set-up regional, township and street, ‘Job Sikhala Solidarity Chapters’ throughout the State of Zimbabwe,” read the statement.

“Obert Masaraure- National Solidarity Organiser. Veteran Trade Union Leader. President of the Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ). His mandate will be to carry out the aforesaid roles.

“Since the day of my arrest on the 14th of June 2022, I did not become a political orphan as anticipated. He together with the masses of our people adopted me from the dumpsite.

“Together with the masses of our people, they gave me the greatest gift of love-together with many others, he was humiliated and suffered in my name. He, like many, is the unsung hero of solidarity. He is now mandated to take the solidarity gospel to all the ten provinces of our nation, to each and every village, street, township, growth point, town and city.

“To all those who have been blackmailed, scorned, humiliated, fought and dissuaded from exercising your free will, solidarity to me, this is the time to organise yourselves without fear.

“You are not on the wrong side of history. Do not join the road of those on the wrong side of history. Do not dabble in dubious politics.

Sikhala further urged Masaraure to always remember a statement by Martin Luther King Jnr where he postulated: “I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of oppression”.

The former Zengeza West legislator also cited Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’s statement: “When we embark on a campaign, it will be the leaders who will be in front. They will not remain behind while the masses rot in jail”.

Accordingly, Masaraure accepted Sikhala’s directive and pledged to fight hard for his release.

“Brother leader Job Sikhala has deployed me with a mandate to organise Solidarity efforts for him nationwide. Fighting for Sikhala’s release is a collective duty for all Democrats. We have responded to the call and we will set up robust Solidarity structures nationwide,” he said.