Magistrate savages, labels Sikhala ‘incorrigible criminal’ in fresh bail denial

HARARE – Harare magistrate Tafadzwa Miti Wednesday said jailed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala deserved to remain behind bars as he has shown that he is an “incorrigible and unrepentant criminal”.

This was despite that the tormented lawmaker and lawyer has no single conviction from any of his previous arrests.

Sikhala was arrested in June this year after he allegedly demanded justice for slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

His arrest for inciting public violence became the 64th since the firebrand politician broke into national politics in his youth back in 1999.

Efforts to secure bail in his current case have failed many times at both the lower and the High Court.

Earlier this week, Sikhala applied for bail on changed circumstances after his co-accused and fellow party legislator, Godfrey Sithole was granted his freedom.

This became the ninth time the lawmaker has filed a bid to secure his freedom.

Court on several occasions ruled he was likely to reoffend and that he has breached an existing bail order through committing his current offence as alleged.

Sikhala denied this, arguing he had no a single conviction to be labelled a serial offender.

But the magistrate ruled that circumstances brought him closer to the offence than his colleagues now on bail.

His lawyer Advocate Mpofu has submitted that the situation in Nyatsime has calmed down and that Sikhala was referring to spiritual power and not physical violence when he talked about the Ali’s death, among other arguments.

But the magistrate ruled his incarceration aided the peace now prevailing in Nyatsime.

“Equality is fundamental tenets of law and certain persons may be likely to abscond or more close to offence, thus warranting dismissal of bail.

“Equal treatment does not likely warrant the release of both accused persons but a court can enquire if the appellant can be granted bail,” said the magistrate.

She said the fact that Sikhala was arrested more than 63 times showed his disregard of the law.

“It will be irresponsible for a judicial officer to grant bail to someone who had shown that he disrespects the court orders.

“Accused was out on bail on 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 enough proof that there is propensity to commit similar offences,” added the magistrate.

“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 magistrate also said Mpofu in making the application was recycling facts that had been submitted and dismissed by the courts before.

Sikhala was remanded to Thursday for resumption of his trial with Sithole.

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