Saturday 16 January 2021


MDC-Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala was yesterday denied bail while the party’s spokesperson, Fadzai Mahere, will spend the weekend in custody as the court is expected to make a ruling on her bail application on Monday.

Sikhala and Mahere are facing allegations of peddling falsehoods on social media platforms after allegedly falsely accusing a police officer of beating to death a child with a baton stick in Harare.

Harare magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna refused Sikhala bail after noting that he had committed a similar offence while he is on bail. Mr Nduna said it was in the best interest of justice to keep Sikhala in custody to prevent him from further committing similar offences.

He said Sikhala had boasted during his bail application that he had been arrested for 65 times since the year 2000 and had been granted bail at all times.

Mr Nduna said that alone proves that Sikhala was inclined to continue committing offences hence the need to keep him in custody pending his trial.

Sikhala allegedly posted on his Facebook account that: “This monstrosity in our country must end. People are already suffering through a myriad of problems and you just take a baton stick and kill a nine months’ child. We have reached a boiling point.”

The State alleges that by posting the statement, Sikhala intended to incite or promote public disorder and violence thereby endangering public safety. He is expected back in court on February 18 for his routine remand.

In a similar matter, magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe dismissed Mahere’s application for challenging her placement on remand saying she was legally before the court.

Mahere had challenged her placement on remand arguing that the law she was being charged under was struck off the country’s statutes in 2014, making her arrest unconstitutional.

She had also told the court that police took her to court after the time allowed for her detention had lapsed and was supposed to be allowed to go home.

Although Mr Utahwashe sternly warned police for taking suspects late to court and implored them to change their attitude, he also did not find favour with Mahere’s assertions.

After Mahere was placed on remand, the State led by Mr Charles Muchemwa opposed to her being granted bail.

Mr Muchemwa said Mahere admitted to posting the alleged statements making the State’s case stronger.

He said the strength of the State’s case against Mahere will see her conviction and a possible 20-year-jail sentence.

“We have overwhelming evidence against accused. The State’s case is strengthened by the fact that accused is not denying the authorship of the post. Evidence of the fact that the child did not die as result of the alleged assault as said in the tweet also makes the State’s case strong.”

“We have evidence from the mother and police investigating the case in that regard. The serious nature of the matter is shown by that, upon conviction a custodial sentence of up to 20 years or level 14 fine and the penalty provision shows the seriousness of the offence,” he said.

Mahere through her lawyer Mr David Drury, said her tweet does not carry any intentions to incite violence, adding that she will not abscond trial as the State had no strong case against her. Herald


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