Sikhala freedom bid tossed for the eighth time

HARARE – High Court judge Rodgers Manyangadze has dismissed yet another bail appeal by jailed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala.

This became the eighth time the firebrand politician’s freedom bid was turned down by court on grounds that he had penchant to commit crimes of similar nature and was, thus, likely to reoffend.

Sikhala is accused of violence incitement after he allegedly circulated a video calling for revenge against slain party activist Moreblessing Ali’s murder.

The lawmaker, who is also a practising lawyer, was representing Ali’s family during the tense period of her alleged abduction by suspected Zanu PF supporters in Nyatsime area May this year.

Her body was later found in June cut into pieces and thrown into a well in neighbouring villages.

Sikhala, MP for Chitungwiza which borders Nyatsime, was arrested and locked up June together with another Member of Parliament, Godfrey Sithole.

The embattled duo’s several bail applications have all been turned down over the past four months.

In the latest case, Sikhala’s lawyer Jeremiah Bamu told the High Court the lower court erred in denying him bail on the grounds he had been given a trial date already.

Bamu argued this was not a good enough reason for courts to deny his client bail.

“What is more important is that the state made a concession that the mere furnishing of a trial date does not bar an accused from being granted bail. The court aquo has not made a determination on the concession,” he said.

“Appellant placed before the court aquo the statement of the investigating officer which makes it clear that all statements being relied on are police officers who watched the video; contrary to what is being alleged in Form 242, there are no eye witnesses, thereby weakening the state case.”

In response, the state maintained its position of opposing Sikhala’s bail application saying this was well within the confines of the law.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!