THANK God to one principled judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi for granting bail to Zengeza West Member of Parliament Job Sikhala (MDC Alliance). In doing so, he has exposed the State’s plot against him and confirms the State’s new modus oparandi of using coronavirus as a tool to silence dissent.
In lashing out at Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna for denying Sikhala bail, the judge pointed out that the magistrate had bent over backwards to keep the legislator locked up in an obviously dangerously vulnerable situation so he could catch COVID-19 and hopefully die.
The magistrate did not apply any logic in ordering the incarceration of Sikhala for three weeks, which could only mean Nduna was under instruction to deny him bail for as long as possible or he was acting on his own in what he believed to be Zanu PF’s interests.
The mere fact that Sikhala boasts of being arrested several times and never convicted should be warning enough to any magistrate or judge that there is something amiss about his numerous court appearances.
The mere fact that he has not been convicted shows he is being persecuted for his stance against Zanu PF.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s deafening silence with all these people being denied bail and being incarcerated in hell holes called prisons when the nation is facing such a virulent virus as coronavirus is worrying.
It is as if government does not care about the wellbeing of citizens. It happily sits back while 400 000 citizens have been arrested for violating lockdown rules, with many having been incarcerated.
Others have been bundled onto the back of police vehicles with no room for social distancing in total violation of government’s laws.
Surely, courts must come to terms with the reality of coronavirus and realise that things must change.
Only those who will definitely be convicted of serious crimes should be held in remand prison awaiting trial.