By Mary Taruvinga
MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala will spend his third weekend behind bars at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after his High Court bail appeal failed to kick off again Friday.
Justice Erica Ndewere was forced to postpone the matter to Monday so she could go through the state’s response which was filed a few minutes before the scheduled time for the appeal hearing.
Sikhala is accused of inciting the public to commit violence through videos he posted on social media platforms while in hiding from law enforcement agents.
He denies the charge and argues that individuals have the right to protest and the right of association. He is also challenging his arrest by the police.
Sikhala, through his lawyers, contends Harare magistrate, Lazini Ncube erred in denying him bail after ruling his offence was serious.
The state’s response to his appeal is that his arrest was unlawful and that he has a case to answer.
“The conduct of the appellant at the time of arrest is an important consideration in the bail application. In this case, the appellant was arrested not at his house, but at a certain house in Tynwald whilst he was hiding in the ceiling,” the state argues.
“Why would the appellant hide in a ceiling if he did not know that the police were looking for him?”
The state also argued Sikhala, who attempted to escape from law enforcement agents before a charge was brought against him, was more likely to abscond if granted bail.