Exasperation! Sikhala in another failed freedom bid; Chamisa part of packed gallery

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By Staff Reporters

FOR the umpteenth time, Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Job Sihkala, had his bail application thrown out Tuesday in respect of a case he is accused of obstructing the course of justice.

Harare magistrate, Stenford Mambanje cited that no new facts had been put before him to re-visit his last ruling.

In passing ruling, the magistrate said ‘new’ facts submitted by Sikhala had not changed the basis upon which bail was initially refused.

“Having given due consideration to the facts of this case, and the applicable legal principles, l am satisfied that the applicant has not discharged the burden to satisfy me that there has been an exceptional change in circumstances warranting that l review in his favour the order previously made by this court denying the applicant bail pending trial,”
Mambanje said.

“These new facts have not changed the basis upon which bail was initially refused, it is for these reasons that this application must fail.”

Sikhala’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa had argued that there was no likelihood that Sikhala would interfere with State’s investigations and that the passage of time was enough for the court to re-visit its ruling.

Mtetwa also told the court that, the State only based its opposition on the basis that lawmaker had violated a bail condition, and yet they had not provided any evidence of that to the court.

“The investigating officer in this matter based his opposition on the ground of violation of a bail condition. However, the State has failed to place the evidence of the bail violations before the court,” said Mtetwa.

In response, the State, represented by Lancelot Mutsokoti, said Sikhala’s continued detention was justifiable.

“The current detention of the accused is justifiable with the seriousness of the offence he is facing,” said Mutsokoti.

He further told the court, there was nothing political about how the matter was being handled.

“There is nothing political about this prosecution and we deny such allegations by the accused,” he added.

Sikhala has been on remand since July 14 this year following his arrest. He is held at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where he has been detained in respect of another charge.

The MP has filed numerous bail applications in respect of both of the charges both at the Magistrates Courts and at the High Court, but all of them have been thrown out.

CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa was Tuesday also among the court’s packed gallery in solidarity with incarcerated Sikhala.