By Staff Reporter
Opposition politician Job Sikhala has been convicted of communicating falsehoods, just a week after his release from prison.
This is his second conviction in two weeks.
He was initially found guilty of inciting violence to avenge the death of slain opposition activist Moreblessing Ali but escaped jail after he was handed a wholly suspended two-year jail sentence.
Sikhala spent 595 days in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison following his arrest in June 2022.
In the present case, prosecutors allege that he communicated falsehoods by posting on his social media that a police officer had struck a baby dead with a baton stick while enforcing road regulations.
Magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka ruled the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The Facebook page contains the accused’s name and face.
“The utterances align with the accused’s political rhetoric.
“The State laid out a prima facie case which required the accused to respond.
“However the accused only opted to invoke his right to silence. The court is convinced that the evidence before the court points to one thing, the Facebook page belongs to the accused.
“In our law, the State has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The State does not have to close every avenue of doubt.
“Therefore the accused published the prejudicial statement which was meant to undermine the authority of the ZRP.
“Therefore the accused is found guilty of communicating falsehoods,” she ruled.
Sikhala will be back in court on February 16 for sentencing.