Sikhala charged with incitement, bail hearing postponed

Job Sikhala

Harare Magistrate on Saturday postponed the hearing of an application by Jacob Sikhala which challenges placement on remand.

The matter will be back in court on Monday 11:30 hours.

Sikhala who is the vice-chairperson of the opposition MDC Alliance was arrested on Friday and charged with incitement of public violence after he allegedly rallied the citizenry to participate in anti-government protests.

He appeared before the Magistrate at 1600 pm after waiting for more than 7 hours and his lawyer Advocate Matinenga protested against prosecutors’ conduct for lacking courtesy in treating defence lawyers on delays to the commencement of the matter

Adv Matinenga challenged the state’s application which sought to place Sikhala on remand arguing that the Zengeza West legislator did not commit any offence nor did he incite people to commit illegal activities but was simply exercising his constitutional rights.

Court proceedings ended with the Magistrate postponing the hearing to Monday at 11:30.
Sikhala joins a number of government critics including members of the opposition, human rights defenders and journalists who were arrested for inciting violence after they urged members of the public to participate in anti-government protests that were scheduled for 31 July.

MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala is facing charges of incitement to commit public violence, the same charges leveled against jailed journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.

Sikhala was arrested Friday after being on the police radar from around July 31 after being put on its wanted list with 13 others including Jimmy Kunaka, Makomborero Haruziviishe, Godfrey Kurauone (arrested), Ostallous Siziba, Promise Mkwananzi, Denford Ngadzoire, Allan Moyo, Obey Sithole, Obert Masaraure, Peter Mutasa, Robson Cheese, Stephen Chuma, and Godfrey Tsenengamu.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights advised on the charges he is facing in a short statement.

“In Harare, ZRP has charged Zengeza West legislator Honourable Job Sikhala with incitement to commit public violence.

“Sikhala is the latest person to be charged with incitement to commit public violence after several people were arrested in July and early August and charged for allegedly urging people to protest on 31 July and for demonstrating on the same day demanding an end to corruption,” ZLHR said.

Sikhala has been hiding from the police prior to the July 31 demonstrations and continued calling for the masses to demonstrate against the human rights violations being perpetrated by Mnangagwa’s state machinery on innocent people.

Sikhala is being represented by Harrison Nkomo.

MDC Alliance condemned the arrest and demanded his immediate release.

“We object to the continued persecution of our members. Job Sikhala has not committed any crime. His arrest is unlawful and we demand his immediate release,” they said.