By Staff Reporter
A HARARE court is expected to determine whether Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala is fit for bail in the latest criminal charge next Tuesday.
Sikhala is already in jail on charges of inciting public violence following the death of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali.
He was denied bail in that case by deputy chief magistrate, Gibson Mandaza and the High Court on grounds that he has a propensity to offend the law.
Prosecutors insist the lawmaker should remain locked up because he is unrepentant.
On the other hand, his lawyers argue the police have found a hobby in arresting their client, who has not a single conviction out of 67 arrests during the past two decades.
Jeremiah Bamu, representing Sikhala, has told the court that his client was a law-abiding citizen.
“He has no previous conviction despite having been arrested a multitude of times, most of the cases in respect of which he was previously arrested for have all been concluded in his favour, save for the ones that are currently pending in court,” said Bamu.
Bamu said the police have made a policy to arrest Sikhala once a year, while the courts routinely deny him bail.
“The State has, purely through its own actions, festered an unfortunate impression that, firstly it has become the policy of the State to arrest the accused at least once a year.
“Secondly, upon such arrests, it has become the seeming policy of the Magistrates Court to routinely refuse him bail, with bail only being granted after he has spent a protracted period in prison of thirty days or more,” said Bamu.
Bamu went on to tell the court that the State is reluctant in finalising Sikhala’s cases.
“The State bears no interest in bringing any of his matters to finality, as evidenced by three of his pending cases before the courts,” he added.
Sikhala is charged with obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly addressed mourners gathered at Ali’s homestead following her brutal death.
He is also accused of having posted a video online urging citizens to avenge the death of Ali.
He once appeared before the court answering to allegations of inciting public violence which were based on the same circumstances.