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Opposition legislators Sikhala, Sithole incitement trial kicks off

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By Staff Reporter


THE trial in which opposition MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole are accused of inciting public violence to avenge the murder of activist Moreblessing Ali commenced Tuesday with the two denying allegations.

The case is being heard before Harare magistrate, Tafadzwa Miti and will be on a continuous roll until Thursday.

It is alleged that Sikhala published a video inciting the public to revenge Ali’s death with Sithole as his accomplice and organised lorries which ferried mourners to the activist’s memorial service which was rocked by violence.

Some of the mourners, also members of the Nyatsime community were later arrested on allegations of having acted to Sikhala’s word.

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Prosecution called in its first witness, Edmore Runganga from ZRP  CID Law and Order who told the court that he did not see the two committing the offence.

Runganga was at pains to defend State’s case after he was cornered by the duo’s lawyers, Harrison Nkomo, Jeremiah Bamu and Oliver Marwa.

Bamu asked Runganga to produce evidence showing that party members including Precious Jeche became violent after watching Sikhala’s video.

Runganga refused to respond accusing the defence of smuggling unnecessary details into the trial.

Bamu also asked him to provide names of people who had posted the video on Twitter and WhatsApp but he failed to do so.

Marwa asked Runganga if he had seen Sikhala and Sithole committing the offence.

“I did not see them recording and posting the video,” he responded.

He also told court that in their investigations, the police did not authenticate the video or took it to voice experts to confirm whether it was Sikhala’s voice.

Marwa also asked why the State failed to charge Sithole separately since he did not appear in the video.

He said, “He is involved in the incitement because he was the one who procured the trucks which carried people to Nyatsime to commit public violence.”

Sithole is out on bail while Sikhala has been in pretrial detention since their arrest in June last year.