Wednesday, 26 August 2020

D DAY FOR SIKHALA


MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala will know his fate today when a Harare magistrate makes a ruling on his application challenging placement on remand on charges of inciting public violence ahead of the failed July 31 protests.

Harare magistrate, Mr Lazini Ncube, is expected to make the ruling this afternoon.

Sikhala, through his lawyers Advocate Eric Matinenga, Mr Jeremiah Bamu and Mr Harrison Nkomo, has challenged his placement on remand, saying the allegations raised by the State are insufficient to build charges against him.

The lawyers are arguing that the State failed to furnish the court with videos and audios which the police allege carry the words formulating his charges.

Prosecutors Mr Garudzo Ziyaduma and Mrs Tendai Shonhai said they had sufficient grounds to place Sikhala on remand.

The prosecutors contend that although Sikhala claimed to have been championing human rights, he should have done it within the limits of the country’s laws.

“The rights should be exercised with due regard of other citizens and the law,” said Mr Ziyaduma. “The deprivation of liberty is premised on facts that he overstepped his limits by calling for the protests. 

“The human rights defender is also a citizen who should abide by the laws of the land. It was clear from what he did that it warrants the placement of accused on remand.

“The facts are sufficient to raise reasonable suspicion.”

Circumstances leading to Sikhala’s arrest are that between March 1 and August 21, 2020, he originated and posted videos on different social media platforms with intent to incite public violence.

In the videos, Sikhala is alleged to have said: “People from the Zambezi to Limpopo and Forbes Border Post to Victoria Falls, 31 July 2020 should be your day.

“This is the kind of war that we have. If we do not fight this war, nothing will come out until we die. These men have oppressed people for a long time.”

The State also alleges that Sikhala used his social media accounts to incite Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa to attack Zimbabwean embassies. Herald

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