Sikhala bail hearing postponed

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Job Sikhala

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The High Court of Zimbabwe has postponed the bail hearing of MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala, saying the record of proceedings at the lower court where his bail was denied had not been signed by the presiding magistrate who is on leave.

Sikhala, who was arrested last month on inciting the public to commit public violence, is being represented by Eric Matinenga, Jeremiah Bhamu and Harrison Nkomo.
The MDC Alliance vice-chairperson was initially denied bail by magistrate Lazini Ncube who ruled that he was a flight risk and that the State fears he will commit other offences while on bail.

But Sikhala in his initial appearance in court said he had been arrested 64 times and in all his appearances in court he had never violated his bail conditions despite being tortured and persecuted by the State.

The opposition legislator has asked the High Court to release him on bail on conditions which include depositing $15 000 bail and being ordered to continue residing at his given residential address.

The State alleged that the Zengeza West constituency legislator incited people between May 2020 and July 20 2020 to participate in public demonstrations that would cause public violence and breach of peace among people in Zimbabwe on July 31 2020 by posting video clips with inciting messages.

He is also alleged to have circulated a video clip in which he showed gratitude to some people for bringing him food and urging people both in Zimbabwe and outside the country to participate in the demonstration which was scheduled for 31 July 2020, which police officers suppressed and arrested several people who staged protests across the country on the day.