11 offspring Sikhala tells court he is too stout to hide in ceiling

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By Mary Taruvinga

BAIL hearing for jailed MDC Alliance vice chair, Job Sikhala continued Tuesday with the firebrand politician taking to the witness’s stand before a Harare magistrate to deny both being violent and fugitive from justice.

Sikhala is facing charges of inciting the public to commit violence.

Said the opposition legislator in court, “The struggle for social justice has never been fought on the plane of violence and the State should not invite me to a territory which I’m not part of.”

Sikhala told court he was a good bail candidate insisting he was once granted bail on subversion charges and never defaulted.

The lawmaker said he never defaulted bail in any of the past 64 cases that have been brought against him by the state.

Contrary to police allegations that he was arrested while hiding in a ceiling, Sikhala said he “was arrested in my bedroom with my wife”.

“Anyone who believes that I was in the ceiling considering my (physical) stature needs psychiatric attention,” said the burly politician.

Police said Sikhala was difficult to arrest and only came out of the ceiling after they threatened to throw tear gas into his hideout.

He denied ever hearing of a police press statement suggesting he was being sought adding that he was seeing the document for the first time in court.

Sikhala also supported his bail application saying he had no pending matter before any court in Zimbabwe.

“I’m not a flight risk and have never absconded even more serious matters such as treason or subversion,” he said.

The Zengeza legislator told court he had no reason to flee trial if granted his freedom because he had 11 children – the oldest being 20 and youngest 1 year 3 months old – all depending on him.

Top human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa also supported his application saying he was once arrested for treason but never gave the police any difficulties.

Meanwhile, Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume will know his fate Wednesday when the High Court delivers ruling on his bail appeal.