By Stanford Madombwe
MDC Alliance deputy chairman Job Sikhala torched a storm when he announced that medical teams conducted various tests on him following his release this week from Chikurubi remand prison.
The fearless Zengeza West legislator had been languishing in prison for three weeks since his arrest on 9 January for allegedly publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State.
Zimbabwe’s prisons are full to the hatches with petty criminals and remand prisoners as a result of a slow judicial system that is failing to cope with the backlog of criminal cases. Overcrowding in the country’s prisons has resulted in an inevitable rise in infectious diseases such as TB, and AIDS-related deaths.
It is probably with this in mind that Sikhala, a lawyer by profession, decided to have his doctors check on him following his release on bail this week.
“Doctors have attended to me. All samples for tests have been done. My COVID-19 samples have been taken to the laboratory.
“Other blood samples results will also come out tomorrow. The only one that came out are HIV results which came out negative,” said Sikhala.
However, Zimbabweans would not let the update go without giving it a spin. While many understood the need for Sikhala to take a COVID-19 test and other general medical checks upon his release, many had a hard time trying to comprehend why he went for the HIV test.
The matter generated lots of heat all through Thursday evening, and Sikhala didn’t help matters as he decided against responding to a lot of burning questions that followed.
Here are some of the feedback:
Zanu-PF wants to know what “games” Sikhala was playing inside the jail:
This one feels Sikhala might as well get tested for pregnancy:
Prominent political analyst Rashweat Mukundu had this to say:
Someone thinks Sikhala was to not leave anything to chance:
Another one had to drag in man-of-the-moment Temba Mliswa, the Norton MP, into this:
Or is Sikhla marketing himself to potential small houses? Perhaps…
While many took a lighter view of Sikhala’s update, his case points to a worrying trend where the country’s prisons could easily turn into super spreaders of highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
As for HIV, well, anything can happen behind those iron curtains of jail cells. ANYTHING! – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺