Sikhala renews bid for freedom

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Harare (New Ziana) – Detained Movement for Democratic Change – Alliance deputy national chairman Job Sikhala, who is facing charges of inciting public violence, on Thursday applied for bail at the Harare Magistrates Court, his second bid for freedom in a week.

On Wednesday, the same court dismissed his bid to have the charges dropped on account that the date for the illegal anti-government protests for which he is accused of inciting, had past.

The court ruled the firebrand politician had a case to answer, and remanded him in prison pending.

Sikhala was arrested last Friday after nearly a month on the run, and is accused of widely using social media posts to mobilise the public to take part in the opposition-led protests, which had been penciled for July 31.

The authorities had banned the protests, which the organisers had said were intended to register public displeasure with the government’s handling of the economy, on both security and Covid-19 health grounds.

But the protest organisers, allegedly including Sikhala, had vowed to ignore the ban and press ahead with the marches.

The demonstrations, however, dismally flopped nationwide after the public ignored the opposition calls.

Magistrate Lanzini Ncube heard the bail application, which included testimony from key State witness, Detective Assistant Inspector Makore, the police officer who arrested Sikhala.

In opposing bail, the State argued that Sikhala was not a proper candidate for bail as he was likely to abscond considering how he was apprehended.

The court also heard that Sikhala had another pending case at St Mary’s police station, and would likely commit similar offences if granted bail.

The State believes a jail sentence was inescapable for Sikhala, giving him the incentive to flee.

The hearing continues on Friday.

New Ziana

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