Sikhala Says He Was Incarcerated Based On Lies6 months ago
Incarcerated Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala Tuesday said he has been detained for months based on lies and falsehoods.
He made the remarks when he appeared before Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa on charges of obstructing the course of justice.
He was being represented by his lawyer Harrison Nkomo. NewsDay cites him as saying:
This case has been clouded with lies from the police and State. I have been incarcerated for 10 months based on lies and falsehoods to keep me here.
The State is just building its case on lies. One of the police witnesses Hardwick Maziti said they were going to bring eyewitnesses and claimed that their case was based on eyewitnesses only to revert later and say the police will use only the video.
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How can you charge a person based on a video seen online on YouTube and yet you have not tested its authenticity? I don’t know that video and I don’t know who recorded it.
Sikhala’s charge sheet:
i). Sikhala is accused of inciting violence which erupted on June 14 in the funeral wake of slain Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali.
ii). The legislator faces a separate charge of obstructing the course after he implicated ZANU PF in Ali’s murder.
Ali was murdered in May 2022 by a suspected ZANU PF activist Pius, alias Jamba, Mukandi.
Sikhala said there were no charges pressed against him when he arrived at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in June last year.
It was later on that day when I was charged with treason and then they brought the charge sheet which was later taken and destroyed, but later police officers said we are now charging you with obstructing the course of justice.
Gofa postponed the matter to today (Wednesday).
Denial of Bail:
Sikhala has been denied bail on several occasions with courts saying he was likely to commit “more offences” once released.
Some political analysts and some Western countries argue that Sikhala’s prolonged incarceration is political and a violation of the constitution.
Section 50(1)(d) of the Zimbabwean Constitution states that a person who has been arrested: “must be released unconditionally, or on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons justifying their continued detention.”
This is subject to the interests of justice.
A judge may grant bail in respect of any crime. A magistrate within whose area of jurisdiction the accused is being kept in custody may grant him bail in respect of all crimes except a serious crime specified in the Third Schedule to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, of which the most important are:
2). murder or attempted murder;
3). rape or aggravated indecent assault;
5). indecent assault of a child;
6). kidnapping or unlawful detention involving the infliction of serious bodily harm;
7). crimes involving insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism;
If, however, the Prosecutor-General personally consents to the magistrate granting bail for any of the above crimes, then the magistrate has the power to do so.
When an accused person is indicted for trial in the High Court, the bail will stand but a judge of the High Court may revoke it or alter any condition under which it was granted.
Bail may also be granted by a police officer if a suspect has been arrested on a relatively minor charge and is unlikely to abscond or interfere with the evidence, or commit further crimes.