Zimbabwe: Sikhala Confirms Prison Cell Poisoning in Sad Account of 595 Days Detention at Chikurubi Prison

JOB Sikhala, the recently freed opposition activist who spent 595 days in pretrial detention, has confirmed that he was poisoned while in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

Sikhala was reported sick in October 2023, just over 550 days into the almost two-year incarceration. He also fell ill in January last year.

Private doctors had to be called in for tests which Sikhala said are still to be completed.

Speaking to at his Chitungwiza home, Sikhala said he suspected Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) had poisoned his food during an unannounced search of a cell they were keeping him in.

“News that I had been poisoned during my stay at Chikurubi Maximum Prison is true,” said Sikhala.

“I suspect prison officers who conducted an unannounced search of my cell to have poisoned the food that I had received from home.

“For my entire stay, I avoided eating prison food as I suspected that the State was looking for an excuse to eliminate me.”

Sikhala revealed how he had to be examined after passing stool which had blood deposits while losing considerable weight within a few weeks of noticing that.

He had to rely on his family for medication as government institutions, struggling to provide even the basic supplies, did not have any.

Added Sikhala: “You have to understand that they do not have any form of medication. I had to invite my private doctors to attend to me and rely on my family to buy medication for me.”

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