CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala, who is being accused of inciting public violence, had his application for recusal of the magistrate presiding over his case dismissed.
Sikhala, who is being represented by Jeremiah Bhamu, had filed the application citing bias after magistrate Tafadzwa Miti described him as an unrepentant repeat offender.
In a previous ruling, Miti said Bhamu’s submission that Nyatsime, the scene of Sikhala’s alleged crime, was now calm confirmed that Sikhala had committed an offence.
This prompted Bhamu to argue that Miti had already convicted his client before trial and should recuse herself from the case.
In dismissing Sikhala’s application for recusal, Miti said the Zengeza West Member of Parliament had failed to proffer reasonable grounds for her recusal.
Bhamu said he would appeal the ruling at the High Court.
Sikhala’s co-accused Godfrey Sithole, who is being represented by Oliver Marwa, has filed a notice to have their cases separated, arguing that the circumstances for their arrest were different.
Marwa said they would file the application on January 11, 2023, which is the next remand date, if the trial fails to start.
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Sithole, Sikhala and 14 other Nyatsime residents are being accused of inciting violence following violent skirmishes in June at the funeral wake of murdered CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.
Sithole and the Nyatsime 14 are out on bail after spending several months in remand prison. Sikhala faces a separate charge of obstruction of justice, and has been denied bail nine times.