Sikhala, Sithole launch fresh bid for elusive freedom

HARARE – Incarcerated Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole have returned to file another court challenge against placement on remand arguing that there was no justification for their continued detention.

The latest application comes after the pair’s initial protest against both remand and bail failed.

Through their lawyer Jeremiah Bamu, the two said they would seek bail on changed circumstances if their current request is dismissed.

The lawmakers, who have been languishing in prison since June, stand accused of inciting the public to revenge the death of party activist Moreblessing Ali who was gruesomely murdered in May this year by alleged Zanu PF activists.

They were initially denied freedom by the Deputy Chief Magistrate Gibson Mandaza who agreed with the State’s contention the firebrand lawmakers had propensity to commit similar crimes.

The two however insist there is nothing before the court to prove that they committed the alleged offence.

They also denied the state’s claims they acted in connivance to commit the alleged offence.

“The doctrine of common purpose is no longer part of our law as confirmed by the Supreme Court,” said Bamu.

Sikhala and Sithole also maintained that they did not organise the trucks which ferried mourners to Nyatsime, home area for the slain CCC activist.

“Those who had been arrested in connection with those lorries are said to have been acting on their own based on a conspiracy among themselves,” Bamu added.

He said the allegations against his clients were fabricated.

“The state has also failed to furnish the accused persons with that video, so the question that will arise is, is there any video or the state is seeking to buy time so that they can find any video of the accused person and fabricate evidence against him,” he further argued.

Bamu insisted all this showed the two were wrongfully arrested.

“Today we challenged placement on remand on the basis that there is no reasonable suspicion that the offence was committed and also there is insufficient justification on their continued placement on remand,” he said.

Based on the new application, court is set to make its determination this Friday.

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