Magistrate Says There Is A Possibility Sikhala Will Commit A Similar Offence If Granted Bail
Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, has been denied bail again when he appeared before Harare magistrate Tafadzwa Miti.
The magistrate ruled that Sikhala is an incurable and unrepentant criminal, despite the fact that Sikhala has no conviction in over 60 arrests, New Zimbabwe reported.
Sikhala is accused of inciting public violence to avenge the death of slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali.
In his latest bail application, Sikhala cited changed circumstances noting that his alleged accomplice, Godfrey Sithole was recently granted ZW$50 000 bail having spent 150 days in custody.
Sikhala was arrested in June and has to date spent 162 days at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, without trial.
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14 other CCC activists who were arrested for allegedly reacting to Sikhala’s incitement were granted bail last week.
In denying him bail, the magistrate ruled Sikhala deserved jail because he was unrepentant having been arrested over the same offence 67 times before. Ruled magistrate Miti:
The accused was out on bail on a similar offence unlike his co-accused. A judicial officer cannot sit and determine an issue that has been dealt with by another.
His arrest for more than 63 times on similar charges is proof enough that there is a propensity to commit similar offences.
The changed circumstances that his co-accused was released on bail will not apply as the number of times he has been arrested is proof that he is an incorrigible and unrepentant criminal.
The granting of bail will jeopardise the criminal justice system therefore the application for bail on changed circumstances is therefore dismissed.
Sikhala previously claimed that the ruling ZANU PF, which is accused of capturing the judiciary, was planning on keeping him in prison until after the 2023 elections. He reckoned the ruling party is afraid of his influence.
His prolonged detention has attracted criticism from the international community including the United States and Britain.