HARARE magistrate Tafadzwa Mhiti is expected to sentence Job Sikhala and Geoffrey Sithole after the opposition leaders were convicted of inciting violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza last year.
In aggravation, prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu yesterday told the court that Sikhala and Sithole were MPs when the committed offence so it is safe to conclude that they were in a position of authority and influence.
Zinyandu further submitted that following the incitement, there was public violence which resulted in the destruction of property in the area. The State concluded that it was, therefore, an aggravation that property was destroyed during the violence.
Zinyandu also cited a case in which the High Court confirmed a three-year jail sentence imposed on opposition activist Paddington Japajapa.He, however, noted that Sikhala has been in remand prison for nearly two years, adding that the court should take that into account.
In mitigation, Sikhala’s defence lawyer Jeremiah Bamu argued that the State had to prove with evidences all of the statements it cited in aggravation.
He dismissed arguments by the State that people lost property after it failed to give a profile of the victims, their characteristics and how the offence affected them.
Bamu further pointed out that no values were placed before the court in terms of the property that was allegedly damaged.
He also highlighted that a non-custodial sentence would be fair for the duo.
Bamu argued that the State had not shown that a fine is inappropriate while there are presumptive sentences provided for that. – News Day