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Sikhala allowed to consult in private

by Staff reporter
16 Aug 2022 at 06:41hrs | Views
HIGH Court judge Justice Emely Muchawa has ordered Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) officers to allow imprisoned Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice-chairperson Job Sikhala to consult with his lawyers in private.

Sikhala had been denied access to his lawyers, which resulted in Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director Roselyn Hanzi approaching the courts for recourse.

Hanzi cited Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Prisons Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu and officer-in-charge of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison as respondents.

In her provisional order, Justice Muchawa said the respondents' refusal to grant Sikhala a chance to consult his lawyers in private was unlawful.

She also ordered the respondents to pay the costs of the suit.

Sikhala has been complaining at the lower courts that his rights were being violated by being denied access to his family, lawyers and friends whenever they visited him.

He also complained that the prison officials allowed only one member of the family to visit him once a week.

Meanwhile, Sikhala yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje, who refused to remand him to an early date.

Mambanje said he would be remanded to a date in November as he had no power over setting of trial dates.

Sikhala's lawyer Jeremiah Bhamu had applied for an earlier remand
date.

Mambanje dismissed the application.

Sikhala was jailed together with Chitungwiza North MP Godfrey Sithole on allegations that they incited violence in Nyatsime following the brutal murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

The matter has been transferred to another magistrate Florence Chakanyuka.

The State, represented by Tendai Shonhai and Lancelot Mutsokoti, was then ordered to supply the defence with requisite documents for Sikhala and Sithole to apply for bail.

The matter was then rolled over to today for bail application.

The two MPs have been in custody for more than 60 days.

Sikhala is also being charged with obstruction to justice and blaming Zanu-PF for the death of Ali.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe