Sikhala Clocks Up One Year in Prison

Sikhala Clocks Up One Year in Prison

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ZENGEZA West constituency legislator and lawyer Hon. Job Sikhala on Wednesday 14 June 2023, clocked up one year in jail after he was arrested last year by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers and charged with committing several offences.

Hon. Sikhala, who is one of the opposition political party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party leaders and is currently detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, is undergoing trial at Harare Magistrates Court on two charges of incitement to commit public violence and disorderly conduct.

The Zengeza West legislator was arrested by ZRP officers on 14 June 2022 and charged with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors alleged that Hon. Sikhala recorded and circulated a video urging people to commit acts of public violence in seeking revenge for the death of Moreblessing Ali, who was murdered in Nyatsime area in Beatrice.

Hon. Sikhala, prosecutors charged, supplied some vehicles which allegedly ferried some CCC party supporters from Chitungwiza and Epworth to Nyatsime, where they reportedly attacked some ruling ZANU PF party supporters and also destroyed property at shops and beer halls and looted groceries and electrical gadgets including burning a one-roomed house belonging to George Murambatsvina, the ZANU PF party Councillor for Nyatsime. His trial continues at Harare Magistrates Court.

While in prison custody, ZRP officers on Tuesday 12 July 2022 hauled Hon. Sikhala out of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and charged him with obstructing or defeating the course of justice as defined in Section 184(1)(e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

In this matter, prosecutors alleged that at an unknown date but during the period extending from 25 May 2022 and 16 June 2022 in Chitungwiza and Nyatsime, the Zengeza West legislator recorded and circulated a video clip wherein he intended to mislead police officers probing the murder of Ali. The law enforcement agents claimed that Hon. Sikhala blamed some ruling ZANU PF party supporters for kidnapping and murdering Ali.

On 3 May 2023, Harare Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa convicted Hon. Sikhala for obstructing or defeating the course of justice and sentenced him to pay a fine of US$600, failure of which, he would serve six months in prison.

Hon Sikhala’s lawyers Harrison Nkomo and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, have since appealed against both conviction and sentence at the High Court, where they argued that Magistrate Gofa erred and misdirected herself when she handed down the verdict on the opposition political party legislator.

Hon Sikhala and Lovemore Maiko, a member of CCC political party, who is also the Councillor for Ward 7 in Chitungwiza Municipality, are also on trial at Harare Magistrates Court answering to charges of disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Hon. Sikhala and Councillor Maiko, who were summoned to appear in court on 20 April 2023, are accused of disrupting a ZANU PF political party campaign rally held on 2 May 2022 by throwing stones at some ruling party supporters.

ENDS

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