Sikhala acquitted

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MUTARE — MDC99 president Job Sikhala on Monday walked out of a magistrates’ court a free man after the State withdrew kidnapping and criminal trespass charges levelled against him early last year.

Sikhala was arrested on allegations he tried to illegally enter the Chiadzwa diamond fields and kidnapped two people he had hired to assist him in acquiring the precious stones.

Sikhala was charged with kidnapping or unlawful detention as defined in Section 93(1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 and criminal trespass as defined in Section 132 of the same Act.

But public prosecutor Malvern Musarurwa withdrew the charges after one of its witnesses reportedly turned hostile while the second one could not be located.

“Indications from police are that the witness is not locatable and his current address is unknown,” said Musarurwa

“Even if the witness was found it was going to be difficult to prove the matter beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, the State wishes to withdraw charges.”

This prompted regional magistrate Trynos Utahwashe to grant the application.

Shortly after the acquittal, Sikhala threatened to sue police officers who arrested and allegedly assaulted him during investigations into the matter.