Tuesday 13 September 2022


 CCC legislator Job Sikhala authored his own calamity when he was arrested on charges of incitement to commit public violence in flagrant disregard of a court order prohibiting him from conduct likely to incite others to commit acts of violence.

Sikhala, along with his co-accused Godfrey Sithole, are battling to obtain bail pending trial on fresh charges of incitement to commit acts of violence.

The remand court has on several occasions rejected his requests for bail because of his propensity to re-offend.

In July, the High Court endorsed the decision by a magistrate to keep Sikhala and Sithole in custody until they are tried on their charges of incitement to commit violence, on the basis that Sikhala had been arrested on similar offences in the past and had a heightened propensity to re-offend.

The ruling against the opposition legislators followed an appeal for bail at the higher court.

But Justice Lucy-Anne Mungwari threw out the appeal noting that the decision of the remand court was not premised on conjecture but was backed by tangible transgressions on the part of Sikhala.

Sikhala is facing a similar charge on which he is on bail on conditions that pending the finalisation of the matter, he should not post videos or audios on social media platforms which would incite others to commit acts violence.

He was also ordered not to address any gathering, WhatsApp group or virtual meeting using words, gestures likely to incite others to commit acts of violence.

But his legal counsel viewed the bail conditions imposed on Sikhala as superfluous and argued they were unnecessary.

“That thinking is certainly unfortunate,” said Justice Mungwari, disagreeing with Sikhala’s legal counsel, adding that a court order could never be superfluous.

The judge made it clear that where a court order is not challenged remains in extant and to allege that one cannot abide by it because it is superfluous is unacceptable and actually dangerous in cases to do with breach of bail conditions.

“An accused who is on bail and who rubbishes the conditions attached to his admission to bail disrespects court orders and disregards the law,” said Justice Mungwari.

“His actions are likely to undermine the proper functioning of the criminal justice system and particularly the bail system.”

“It is not a litigant, but a court of superior authority that determines the correctness or otherwise of a court decision.”

Justice Mungwari in her judgment explained that where a litigant believes a court order to be wrong, the law required that the litigant must observe the order and only seek to impugn it in proper legal ways such as review or appeal. The court also rejected the defence argument that Sikhala and Sithole did not commit the offence.

To worsen their situation, the duo did not even challenge their placement on remand on the specified allegations during the remand process.

At that stage all that the State is required to do is not to show that the suspects committed the offence, but that there is reasonable suspicion that they committed the crime.

In this regard, Justice Mungwari upheld the remand court decision as proper, finding no misdirection on the remand court to warrant Sikhala and Sithole released on bail.

She also noted that Sikhala had on many occasions been arrested for a similar offence showing Sikhala had a heightened propensity to re-offend, when they mobilised their party supporters to unleash violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, during a memorial service for Moreblessing Ali.

Ali, who the CCC said was their supporter, was abducted outside a nightclub in Nyatsime on May 14 and her dismembered remains were discovered in a disused well at a farm in Beatrice, about 10km away from where she was taken.

The prime suspect in her murder, Pius Jamba (31), has since been arrested and was remanded in custody.

Sikhala and Sithole were arrested on June 14 charged with inciting violence. Herald


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