Sikhala’s wife fined ZW$30k, slapped with six month driving ban

HARARE – Ellen Sikhala, wife to jailed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmaker Job Sikhala, was Tuesday convicted for reckless driving and further slapped with a six month ban from driving by a Harare magistrate Evelyn Mashavakure.

Ellen was arrested on September 20 this year on her way to visit her husband at Chikurubi Maximum Prison where the troubled lawmaker has been languishing since June this year on alleged incitement of violence.

Prosecutors alleged she drove against oncoming traffic.

Mashavakure ordered her to pay ZW$30,000 fine or face two months in jail.

She was also barred from driving for six months and to surrender her driver’s licence to the Court of Clerk within seven days of sentence.

Through her lawyer, Paida Saurombe, Ellen denied the allegations, telling court she was arrested for refusing to bribe the traffic officer when she allegedly committed the offence.

She denied driving against oncoming traffic claiming she was only forced off her lane while trying to avoid hitting two vehicles which were blocking her path.

The magistrate said her defence on its own was self-incriminating and was confirmation she indeed drove against oncoming traffic.

“The accused was not the only one who was arrested. She did not dispute the fact that she left her lane and was arrested on the filter lane turning back to the inner lane.

“The accused failed to explain why she said police officers asked for a bribe.

“These witnesses did not know the accused then. I therefore accept the State’s version of events.

“Your driving on the day constitutes reckless driving, hence her act was wilful and deliberate. Accordingly, the accused is found guilty and convicted,” ruled the magistrate.

During mitigation, Ellen said she was a first time offender and her conduct, for all its alleged wrongness, did not result in any road traffic accident.

Ellen also submitted that a spot fine would have solved the whole issue.

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