By Mary Taruvinga
MDC ALLIANCE vice-chairperson Job Sikhala has been remanded in custody facing charges of publishing falsehoods.
The politician-cum-lawyer appeared before Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna and through his lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu challenged his placement on remand arguing his arrest was unlawful.
Sikhala argued he was being persecuted for representing journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
The journalist was arrested last Friday also facing charges of peddling falsehoods that an infant had been killed by a police officer last Tuesday. He is in remand prison since Saturday.
“The arrest was callous. The accused is being persecuted for representing Chin’ono,” Bamu told the court.
“Secondly, the police having been advised that Chin’ono was in contact with two Covid-19 positive persons, they detained him (Sikhala) in the same cell where Chin’ono was detained in without disinfecting it.”
Bamu added Sikhala was interrogated by the police in the same room with Chin’ono and no precautions were taken to ensure the opposition politician does not get infected.
“The police must be ordered to give a detailed report why they did so.”
Chin’ono told the court Saturday he was exposed to two people who tested Covid-19 positive when he was in South Africa and had been self-isolating at his Harare home when police details arrested him last Friday.
However, Sikahala’s matter was rolled to Tuesday after prison officers said they needed to organise transport for inmates as business now closes at 15:00 hours due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Bamu is being assisted by Harrison Nkomo and Paida Saurombe.