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High Court orders Chikurubi prison to allow jailed Sikhala and Sithole access to lawyers

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By Staff Reporters


THE High Court has issued a provisional order directing prison authorities to allow lawyers access to incarcerated legislator, Job Sikhala and his colleague, Godfrey Sithole.

The pair has been languishing in remand prison for over 60 days facing charges of inciting public violence following the death of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime.

Roselyn Hanzi of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) approached the courts seeking interim relief after wardens at Chikurubi Maximum Prison barred her from privately consulting with her clients.

High Court Judge, Justice Emilia Muchawa granted the relief sought, before challenging respondents, who include Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and prisons Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu, to show cause why a final order should not be made allowing applicant to consult in private with her clients.

“An order be and is hereby granted compelling respondents to allow applicant to consult in private with her clients Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison,” reads the order.

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Meanwhile, Sikhala’s application challenging his trial date has been thrown away by Harare magistrate, Stenford Mambanje.

In passing the ruling, Mambanje said the courts were not involved in the setting of trial dates as this was the prerogative of set down officials.

“Courts are usually not involved in the matter of setting dates; the dates are set by the set down offices,” said Mambanje.

He further averred that Sikhala’s case was not the only one given a November trial date, and that the State swiftly investigated the matter and allocated a date.

This, therefore, means Sikhala’s trial date is set for November 21, 2022 in respect with the matter he is accused of obstructing the course of justice.

The State has, however, been warned by the court to serve the defence with State papers by November 16.

The parliamentarian’s lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu had argued over the date saying the State could not to be trusted and there was a likelihood it would further delay commencement of trial.