Sikhala, Sithole denied bail, court says MPs a threat to security

HARARE – Firebrand Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala and his Chitungwiza North counterpart Godfrey Sithole were on Wednesday denied bail following their court appearance on charges of incitement to commit public violence.

Harare magistrate Gibson Mandaza denied the two opposition lawmakers their freedom declaring they were a “threat to public security and likely to reoffend if released on bail”.

The two MPs were remanded in custody to July 6 and advised to lodge their appeal at the High Court.

Addressing the media soon after court adjournment, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere branded Mandaza’s ruling an unconstitutional ploy by Zanu PF to persecute and silence the opposition.

“The main difficulty we have as CCC is that these findings offend the constitution; the constitution states that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“There simply is no evidence that connects honourable Sikhala and Sithole to the events that took place in Nyatsime.

“In fact, the record shows clearly that six of our members, community leaders (in Nyatsime) had their homes burnt,” said Mahere.

Three CCC supporters in Nyatsime, Precious Jeche, Adious Makoma and Misheck Guzha, whose houses were torched by alleged Zanu PF activists, were recently also charged with inciting public violence.

Mahere added, “We condemn what we call political persecution of our members.

“We condemn the regime for continuing to abuse our police service, continuing to abuse our court system, to shrink the democratic space as well as silence CCC.

“This is obviously a reaction that we got so much support on the ground.”

The politically motivated violence that erupted in Nyatsime outside Chitungwiza town was a culmination of a tense period that followed CCC activist Moreblessing Ali’s kidnapping and killing last month allegedly by persons with Zanu PF links.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!