Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Sikhala's application against prosecutors thrown out

by Staff reporter
10 Sep 2022 at 06:20hrs | Views
THE application by CCC members Job Sikhala and Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole for their prosecutors to be jailed for contempt of court because they have yet to give the pair the documents they need for their defence was thrown out yesterday.

While there was a court order on August 18 for these documents to be handed over, regional magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere yesterday said there was no timeline given, and the State had up to two days before the trial to hand over the documents, with the trial set for November 21.

Sikhala and Sithole had applied through lawyers Mr Jeremiah Bamu and Ms Beatrice Mtetwa that prosecutors Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti and Mr Micheal Reza be found in contempt of court and incarcerated for failing to comply with the August 18 order.

The State had opposed the duo's application saying they were not in contempt as they intended to serve the two with the documents at least two days before the trial, as required by the law. Sikhala and Sithole's trial on charges of incitement to commit public violence has been set for November 21 at the Harare Magistrates Court.

In his ruling, Mr Manwere agreed that the State was not in contempt as the original order gave no date as to when the State was to give Sikhala and Sithole the papers.

"The record shows that on August 18, 2022, the State was ordered to serve accused with State papers and it ends there," he said. "The order has no timeline and because the order is open ended, the State can from anytime after providing the trial date up to two days before trial provide the papers.

"The order was made on August 18 and we are still in September and is well within the time limit to serve the accused with State papers. The State obligations (to serve the papers) commences as soon as it provides trial date and up to two days before trial."

Mr Manwere said according to the Constitution, the State had an obligation to serve accused persons with all the materials that allows them to fully prepare for trial.

Mr Bamu then requested that the court give the State a date on which they will be provided with the papers, arguing that the court erred when it recorded the initial order.

He applied that the State be ordered to serve them with the papers on Monday.

Mr Mutsokoti, in his response, told the court that they will abide by the court's findings and undertook to furnish Sithole and Sikhala with the documents according to the requirements of the law.

Sikhala and Sithole are expected to return to court on September 14.

Meanwhile, the ruling on an application for discharge at the close of the State case in a matter where two other CCC members, Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri, are charged with faking their abductions has been deferred to Monday.

This was after Chief Magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure, who is presiding over the matter, was not available.

Yesterday, Mamombe and Chimbiri appeared before regional magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere.

Source - The Herald