Job Sikhala challenges authenticity of July 31 protest bush video

HARARE – Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice chairperson Job Sikhala has challenged the tendering of a video showing him speaking while in a forest in a case in which he is accused of incitement to commit public violence.

Sikhala told Harare magistrate Vongai Guuriro Muchuchuti that there is a possibility that the video was doctored.

Through his lawyer Harrison Nkomo, the lawmaker said the origin of the video must be proved first.

Prosecutor Garudzo Ziyadhuma had brought the video on a flash disk. Ziyadhuma said it contained evidence of Sikhala while committing the crime.

The video which was blurred and with poor sound was played in court showing Sikhala seated on a large rock while eating and talking.

The prosecutor said police downloaded the video from YouTube.

Nkomo said the video was not authentic.

“It’s worrisome that the state is asking the court to admit evidence whose originality is not known. Your Worship, you cannot sit there and ignore the breaking of the law by the state,” Nkomo said.

“Why are we running away from the law? What if this piece of evidence is doctored? It is dangerous to admit such a piece of evidence. The production of the content must be verified before it can be tendered.”

The matter was postponed to May 5 for the ruling.

Sikhala was arrested in August 2020 accused of inciting people to commit public violence through participating in a protest that was planned for July 31, 2020.

Sikhala is alleged to have circulated a video clip in which he showed gratitude to some people for bringing him food and urging people both in Zimbabwe and outside the country to participate in the demonstration.

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