Zimbabwean opposition hard-man weeps in court

Job Sikhala
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CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) vice-chairman Job Sikhala wept in court yesterday after he saw journalist Hopewell Chin’ono in the gallery.

CCC party president Nelson Chamisa also attended the court sitting.

Sikhala and Chin’ono once spent time together at Harare’s Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after they were accused of inciting public violence.

They were caged for over 40 days while being denied bail. Sikhala said he and Chin’ono were being persecuted by Zanu-PF.

Deputy chief magistrate Gibson Mandaza denied Sikhala, who is Zengeza West MP, and Chitungwiza North MP Godfrey Sithole bail, saying they were a danger to society.

Mandaza said it was worrying that Sikhala is a lawyer who had ignored his High Court bail condition by addressing gatherings to incite public violence.

“It is the State contention that after posting the video, the violence broke out. The bail order indicates that Sikhala had a condition stopping him from posting on social media inciting people,” Mandaza said.

Sikhala has been arrested a record 67 times without conviction. His lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bhamu insist that his arrests are politically-motivated.

Muchadehama argued that a mere allegation could not stop the court from granting the accused person bail.

“The accused has been arrested many times and he allegedly committed the offence despite the bail condition granted by the High Court on him that he should not address or incite people. Accused (2) (Sithole)’s allegations that he ferried supporters to commit violence showed that he is a man of means,” Mandaza said.

He said the State managed to prove a case against the two MPs, hence denial of bail. Mandaza remanded the matter to July 6.

Muchadehama has since filed a notice to apply for removal from remand if the State fails to provide a trial date on the next remand date.

The duo is accused of inciting the public to commit violence in Nyatsime during the funeral wake of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali who was allegedly murdered by Zanu-PF member Pius Jamba.

Source – NewsDay