Sikhala trial in false start

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The trial of MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala, who is being accused of inciting public violence, failed to commence after the State indicated that it needed forensic results of the audio evidence in its possession.

The State, represented by Garudzo Ziyadhuma, asked for postponement of the trial, saying they were waiting for forensic results on audios that purportedly feature Sikhala.

But the defence, led by Harrison Nkomo and Jeremiah Bhamu, opposed the application for postponement, saying the State indicated that it had completed its investigations in September last year.

Nkomo said the postponement of the matter violated his client’s right to liberty after it has been postponed on several occasions.

Magistrate Stanford Mambanje postponed the matter to next Wednesday for trial. Sikhala is being accused of inciting the public to commit violence by propagating audios and video of incitement.

Meanwhile, former Cabinet minister Priscah Mupfumira, who is accused of criminal abuse of office, has applied for her matter to be conducted separately from that of former permanent secretary Banarbas Matongera, who is facing similar allegations.

Mupfumira submitted that she wanted to be separated from Matongera so that she can rope him in as a defence witness.

The matter was postponed to next Wednesday for ruling.

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