OPPOSITION politician Job Sikhala yesterday had his conviction and sentence on charges of obstructing the course of justice quashed by the High Court on appeal, but will remain behind bars over two other pending cases.

High Court judges of appeal Justices Pisirayi Kwenda and Benjamin Chikowero overturned a ruling by a lower court in May this year that had found the former Zengeza West legislator guilty.

“The appeal is allowed. The conviction is quashed and set aside. The accused is found not guilty and acquitted,” Justice Kwenda said.

Sikhala was convicted of obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly accused Zanu PF of murdering Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Moreblessing Ali.

The former legislator was arrested for obstruction of justice in June 2022 before he was convicted almost a year later.

He was handed a suspended six-month sentence with the option of a US$600 fine.

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A recently formed movement in support of Sikhala yesterday welcomed the ruling saying his conviction was unjust.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering solidarity in the pursuit of justice for Job Sikhala,” Obert Masaraure, the national organiser of the Job Sikhala Solidarity movement, said.

“Through collective efforts and the dedication of his legal team, we celebrate the overturning of his unjust conviction by the magistrates court, a triumph fuelled by your solidarity.

“As we express gratitude, let us remain resolute in our determination to continue the struggle until Job Sikhala and all political prisoners are free.”

The State had alleged that Sikhala posted a video that was intended to mislead the police who were investigating the death of Ali, whose body was found dismembered.

Human rights watchdogs have condemned Sikhala’s pretrial detention while calling for government to uphold the Constitution.

According to the Constitution, every Zimbabwean has the right to fair trial.

Following his conviction and suspended sentence, Sikhala has been kept in prison pending trial for two other charges namely incitement to commit violence and disorderly conduct.

He has been denied bail multiple times.

Last year, Zimbabweans at home and abroad petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and secure his release.

Authorities, however, said Mnangagawa would not intervene in violation of the principle of separation of powers.