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Job Sikhala denied bail again; court rejects changed circumstances argument

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By Staff Reporter 


JAILED Citizens Coalition for Change legislator Job Sikhala has been denied bail for the sixth time.

Magistrate Taurai Manuwere, sitting at the Harare magistrates Court, ruled there were no changed circumstances as argued by his defence team.

Sikhala had approached the courts seeking his release for the sixth time, telling the courts that the public wanted him out of jail as supported by a petition to the President signed by over 40,000 people.

Manuwere ruled he would not be swayed by public perceptions.

“It is not the mere passage of time that warrants granting bail to an accused person.

“Investigations are complete and applicant (Sikhala) has been furnished with trial date and state papers. Clearly there has been progress and nothing was placed on record that risk of absconding has been averted, “ said the prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti.

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Jeremiah Bamu, representing Sikhala, was not amused by the utterances.

He stood up, and complained that State’s case was visibly weak.

Bamu insisted that Sikhala did not post or circulate the video as alleged.

However, his arguments did not find favour with the court.

“The courts are independent. The Constitution declares that in making a decision a member of the judiciary should make a decision and shall not be swayed by fear of criticism and must not be swayed by fear and partisan perceptions.

“I refuse to be swayed by public perception, opinion and application dismissed,” ruled the magistrate.

The matter was remanded to 2 November.

Sikhala is accused of posting a video calling for justice for the slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

He is charged with inciting public violence, a charge also based on the same circumstances.