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Embattled CCC lawmakers renew freedom bid

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By Staff Reporter

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole have filed a fresh application challenging their continued placement on remand in respect of the case they are accused of inciting public violence.

The two are accused of urging the public to violently avenge the death of slain Citizens Coalition for Change activist, Moreblessing Ali.

They once challenged both placement on remand following their arrest with no luck before they were also denied bail on grounds that they were likely to reoffend.

On Tuesday they appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje who is expected to hand down his ruling on the application on Friday.

“Today we challenged placement on remand on the basis that there is no reasonable suspicion that the offence was committed and also there is insufficient justification on their continued placement on remand. The court will make its determination on Friday,” said the duo’s lawyer Jeremiah Bamu.

In court the two argued that what the State is alleging does not support the basis of inciting public violence.

In respect of the doctrine of common purpose, Bamu argued that it is no longer part of the law.

“The doctrine of common purpose is no longer part of our law as confirmed by the Supreme court,” said Bamu.

He also told the court that there is no nexus between the alleged video and Sikhala hence the issue of inciting public violence does not arise.

Prosecutors allege they mobilised trucks which ferried mourners to Nyatsime for Ali’s memorial service.

But Bamu said there is no link between the lorry drivers and the accused persons.

“Those who had been arrested in connection with those lorries are said to have been acting on their own based on a conspiracy among themselves,” he said.

Bamu also said that the failure to provide the alleged video by the State shows that the allegations were fabricated.

“The state has also failed to furnish the accused persons with that video, so the question that will arise is the video is not available or the state is seeking to buy time so that they can fabricate evidence against him,” he added.

The State will file its response in writing on Wednesday.

There was however chaos at the court as family members who had come in support of Sithole and Sikhala were chased out  of the court and a few journalists were barred from getting in during the first period of the proceedings.

Bamu said if the current application is dismissed, they would seek bail on changed circumstances.