By Mary Taruvinga
A HARARE magistrate heard Thursday that MDC vice-chairperson Job Sikhala was arrested last Friday by police officers while he was hiding in a ceiling at a house in Tynwald suburb.
However, the arresting officer, Collins Makore said their mission was not to arrest Sikhala, but the police had a search warrant to search for drugs, machetes and petrol bombs at the house.
This was said by Sikhala’s arresting officer, Collins Makore during the bail hearing of the opposition politician.
He is facing charges of inciting public violence and the bail application is being heard by Magistrate Lazini Ncube.
According to Makore, a team of police officers raided the Tynwald home, and while searching for the drugs, machetes, and the petrol bombs, he noticed some footprints on the wall and a missing ceiling panel in one of the rooms.
“We had a search warrant to search the house where Sikhala was after receiving information that there were machetes and petrol bombs being manufactured at the house,” he said.
“While inside, we searched and found nothing and when we were going out, we saw footprints on the wall and a panel removed from the ceiling,” he said.
Makore said the police officers convinced someone was hiding in the ceiling before they called for the person to come out, but Sikhala remained quiet.
He said Sikhala said he was coming out only after the police threatened to throw a tear gas canister.
Makore told the court he later realised it was Sikhala and they greeted each other before arresting him.
“Our mission was not him but we had to inform him that he was on the wanted persons’ list before he agreed to it and asked the police to call his lawyer.”
Opposing bail prosecutor Garudzo Ziyadhuma told the court Sikhala had tried by all means to avoid arrest before he was apprehended last Friday.
The bail application continues Friday.
Meanwhile, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume who are also facing charges of inciting public violence have approached the High Court appealing for bail citing changed circumstances.
Their applications were heard Thursday before postponement to this Friday for further hearing.