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Lawfare bogs down CCC in courts

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2022 at 17:20hrs | Views
IT was a busy week at the courts for Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC) officials, with Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala being denied bail for the fourth time in the case that he is being accused of obstruction of justice.

Sikhala appeared before magistrate Taurai Manuwere on Tuesday. Manuwere said there were no changed circumstances that would warrant Sikhala's freedom.

But, in denying Sikhala's third bail application in September, Manuwere had argued that granting the lawmaker bail would make the public lose faith in the court system.

After the ruling, a petition demanding the release of Sikhala was signed by over 50 000 people.

The defence then approached the courts seeking bail, citing this development as a change in circumstance.

Manuwere however dismissed it, saying he will not be swayed by public perception.

Sikhala appeared again the following day on the charge that he is co-accused with Chitungwiza North lawmaker, Godfrey Sithole, of inciting violence in Nyatsime.

They were further remanded in custody awaiting trial that has been slated to start on 5 November 2022.

Sikhala was arrested on 14 June and jointly charged with Sithole. He has been in pre-trial detention at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for more than 120 days.

Meanwhile, on the day that Sikhala was denied bail, in Court 14, the state applied for separation of records for Harare West MP, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Stanford Manyenga and Lovejoy Chitengu, from self-exiled activist Makomborero Haruzivishe.

Haruzivishe defaulted court as he is out of the country. The court issued his warrant of arrest on 6 September 2022.

He is yet to be apprehended but trial must proceed hence defence represented by Alec Muchadehama consented to the state's application and it was granted.

"The state made an application for separation of trials on the basis that the fifth accused person, Makomborero Haruzivishe is on an outstanding warrant of arrest which means the trial must proceed minus him so for that to happen, the magistrate must grant an order seperating the trails. So the prosecutor applied for that separation and we did not oppose the application. So the application for separation was then granted," said Muchadehama.

The four are expected back in court on 11 November, for continuation of trial excluding Haruzivishe.

The five stand accused of staging an unsanctioned demonstration in Warren Park at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in May 2020.

They were initially seven but Obey Sithole and Netsai Marova have since gone on self-imposed exile.

Their records were separated from their co-accused earlier this year.

In court 10, Ellen Sikhala, wife to Job Sikhala appeared to answer to charges of contravening section 53 of the Road Traffic Act. She is accused of driving in the lane of oncoming traffic along Seke Road.

She pleaded not guilty and after the testimony of one of the two arresting police officers, the matter was remanded to 28 October.

On Monday, Felix Phiri, one of the 17 detainees arrested after a spate of violence and arson in Nyatsime following the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali, was released on bail at the High Court.

News Page 23 Lawfare bogs down CCC in courts

Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala was denied bail for the fourth time on Tuesday.

He was arrested on 26 September.

Source - thenewshawks
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