Ruling on Sikhala’s request to have trial livestreamed set for Monday

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By Staff Reporter

HARARE magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa, is expected to hand down ruling on whether jailed opposition lawmaker, Job Sikhala’s trial should be live-streamed or not  on Monday next week.

Prosecutor George Manokore Wednesday told court that the State was still writing its response to Sikhala’s application, further stalling proceedings.

“It is our expectation that we will be able to file the written  submissions by end of day today (Wednesday) and we will then serve  the defence,” said Manokore.

Jeremiah Bamu, representing Sikhala said they will file their replication by January 6.

Sikhala requested to have his trial in the case he is accused of defeating the course of justice.

Bamu said the bulk of people interested in hearing the matter cannot fit in the courtroom, let alone travel from all over the world for the trial.

He also said this would ensure balanced coverage by the media since some journalists in most cases are barred from accessing the courtroom as authorities limit the number of people in the gallery.

“It is also important for the court to note that the media has been covering the case through print, but in today’s digital world, there is no real reason or logic for the media to continue resorting to techniques of yesteryear. It enables more accurate reporting and little room for subjective commentary, ” he submitted.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) opposed the application.

Sikhala is accused of disturbing police investigations into the murder of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali.

He was representing Ali’s family after she was abducted from Nyatsime area by a Zanu PF activist.

Ali’s decomposing, decapitated body was found 21 days after she went missing at the suspect’s mother’s homestead in Beatrice.

A memorial service for Ali was held days later and was marred by violence, which left a trail of distraction in the area.

Sikhala was then held accountable, with prosecutors alleging that he was the one who allegedly incited mourners to avenge Ali’s death.

He was locked up in jail on June 14 to date.