New Zimbabwe.com

Sikhala To Remain In Prison As Bail Ruling Is Delayed

Spread This News

By Mary Taruvinga


MDC Alliance vice-chairperson, Job Sikhala will spend another night in remand prison after Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube postponed ruling on the politician’s bail application.

Sikhala is accused of inciting the public to commit violence.

He was arrested last Friday and was brought to the court Saturday.

Through his lawyer Eric Matinenga, Sikhala is challenging the charges brought against him by State claiming they do not constitute an offence.

“Speaking out cannot be by any means interpreted as inciting violence,” Matinenga said when the bail application continued Tuesday.

“Political bantering using the words ‘fight’ and ‘war’ does not constitute inciting violence.

It is very sad that we do not have a culture of tolerance in this country. Instead of protecting those who want to demonstrate or petition, they are sent away from the streets yet the Constitution provides for this,” the lawyer added.

However, prosecutor Garudzo Ziyadhuma said the charges brought against Sikhala showed that his message in the videos encouraged violence by inciting people to besiege Zimbabwe’s embassies in foreign countries.

“He said he is not afraid meaning that he was taking a confrontational approach. We do not dispute that citizens have rights, but they should be exercised within the law by also safeguarding other people’s rights,” the prosecutor told the court.

“Sikhala is a human rights defender but he is also a citizen. If he oversteps, the law will catch up with him.”

The magistrate is expected to hand down his ruling Wednesday afternoon.