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Sikhala application dismissed

by Staff reporter
21 Feb 2023 at 05:50hrs | Views
CCC national deputy chairperson Job Sikhala, facing a pair of trials on obstructing justice and on inciting violence, is still applying for postponements as he seeks to have the High Court and the Constitutional Court first deal with applications he has already made, or plans to make.

The applications are meant to overturn decisions made by a pair of magistrates denying him postponements or the actual dropping of the charges.

Yesterday in the trial on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice, he wanted to take his case to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that his constitutional rights were being infringed during the course of the on-going court proceedings.

Through his lawyers, Sikhala indicated that he wanted the Constitutional Court to decide whether or not his rights to equal benefit of the law had not been violated, and whether or not he had been denied the right to a fair hearing.

Lawyer Mr Jeremiah Bamu representing Sikhala said: "We seek to have two questions answered by the Constitutional Court. We want the court to determine whether or not the criminal proceedings under record ACC316/22 amount to a deprivation to equal benefit of the law or not.

"Secondly, we want the Constitutional Court to determine whether or not the criminal proceedings amount to a denial of his right to a fair hearing as enshrined in the Constitution.

"This court is obliged to undertake a factual enquiry and deals with issues of facts that may arise. This is in view of the fact that the question referred to Constitutional Court must have a factual foundation."

Mr Bamu then called Sikhala as a witness to confirm affidavits to be attached to his application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Mr Bamu is expected to submit a written application tomorrow morning.

The State led by Mr Oscar Madhume and Mr Zebadiah Bofu, is also expected to file opposing submissions before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa makes a ruling.

Sikhala lost his bid to have proceedings stayed in his other trial where he is jointly charged with CCC Chitungwiza North legislator Godfrey Sithole on charges of inciting public violence in Nyatsime.

This was after magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti dismissed his application saying there were no chances of success at the High Court on his application for the proceedings to be indefinitely postponed pending determination of his High Court application for review of Mrs Miti's decision not to recuse herself.

In dismissing Sikhala's application for stay of proceedings, Mrs Miti said there were no exceptional irregularities in her ruling and her ruling did not have any bearing on the outcome of the trial.

Mr Bamu then applied for postponement of 14 days to allow him to take further instructions from Sikhala and prepare an urgent chamber application to be filed at the High Court.

The State led by Mr George Manokore and Mr Ephraim Zinyandu opposed the application, saying the intention to approach the High Court on an urgent chamber basis had no bearing on the trial.

The State had invited two witnesses, who were ready to testify in the matter.

Source - The Herald