By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S main opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmakers, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole on Tuesday had their application challenging the proposed trial date dismissed by a Harare magistrate.
The two are locked up at Chikurubi Maximum Prison after they were arrested two months ago on charges of inciting public violence.
Grumbling from the dock after the ruling was made, Sikhala blamed Zanu PF for causing his detention and suffering.
“NdezvechiZanu, Zanu izvi! (it’s all because of Zanu PF),” he said.
Last week, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) proposed September 6 as the day for trial commencement, a request that was challenged by the two legislators through their lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.
They argued that the State was on record that the state always delays prosecution.
This comes against a background where Sikhala is yet to stand trials in other pending criminal cases before the courts.
But Feresi Chakanyuka, sitting at Harare Magistrates Court , ruled the state should be given the benefit of doubt.
The same magistrate Monday dismissed the bail application by the two.
On Tuesday, Magistrate Stanford Mambanje, who read the ruling on behalf of his colleague, gave the operative party dismissing the application.
Mtetwa had argued that the State was taking too long to finalise investigations.
Prosecutors have even failed to show the court the video forming allegations against the two lawyers.
Mtetwa said it made no sense to insist on trial under the current circumstances.
The other lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu, also previously argued about the dates, arguing the NPA could not be trusted as they have a tendency of continuously postponing matters.
Sikhala and Sithole are accused of inciting public violence by posting a video calling for the revenge of CCC slain activist, Moreblessing Ali, who was allegedly grisly murdered by a Zanu PF official .
Prosecutors allege that Sithole took part in commission of the offence by providing transport for mourners who attended Ali’s memorial service.
The two have been in jail since June 14 this year.
They were denied bail by the lower court twice and once by the High court.