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Sikhala trial fails to kick off

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The trial of MDC99 president Job Sikhala, facing charges of kidnapping and criminal trespass in Chiadzwa early this year, failed to kick off for the second time last Friday.

The State failed to bring its witnesses to court, forcing regional magistrate Livingstone Chipadze to postpone the matter to September 22.

However, the court warned that should the State fail to put its house in order on the next trial date, charges against Sikhala would be dropped before plea.

Initially, the matter was supposed to be heard on July 28, but the witnesses failed to attend.

It is the State’s case that in February this year, Sikhala kidnapped two men in Chiadzwa following a botched $2 500 diamond deal.

He allegedly went on to assault the two whom the State said were his accomplices in the illegal deal.

In count two of criminal trespass, Sikhala is alleged to have illegally entered the protected diamond-rich Marange fields.

In his submission, Sikhala said the State had failed to try him within a reasonable period, six months after his arrest and had thus violated his constitutional rights.

He also applied to the court that charges against him be dropped as the State had failed to prosecute.

Prosecutor Malvern Musarurwa agreed that should the case fail to kick off on September 22, charges would be dropped before plea.

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