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Sikhala says 'it's just political banter'

by Staff reporter
26 Aug 2020 at 20:42hrs | Views
MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala, who is accused of inciting public violence, yesterday said utterances he is alleged to have made are just, but political banter synonymous with politicians.

Sikhala is challenging his placement on remand, saying the allegations by the State do not disclose an offence and he cannot be criminalised for what is expected of politicians.

The State, however, insists Sikhala's utterances cannot be banter, but incitement of violence, arguing the tone in clips and videos made by him constitute incitement.

Sikhala's lawyer Eric Matinenga argued that the videos and audio clips ought to have been produced in court for it to ascertain what the State is alleging and that it is questionable that the State detected violence from his tone.

In his application, one of his lawyers Jeremiah Bamu was put on the witness stand to explain the inconsistencies in the State papers before the court.

He claimed that what Sikhala was made to sign on the warned and cautioned statement, is different from what is contained on the charge sheet before the court.

Appearing for the State, Garudzo Ziyaduma argued that Bamu's testimony should be disregarded as he has a material interest in Sikhala as he has represented him several times.

Matinenga responded, saying Bamu is an officer of the court whose testimony is candid and that the State had failed to challenge him, hence seeking to have his evidence disregarded.

He further argued that statements alleged by the State and before the court do not amount to an offence.
Sikhala allegedly posted videos on various social media platforms with the message "people from Zambezi to

Limpopo to Forbes Border Post to Victoria Falls 31 July 2020 should be your day.

"This is the kind of war that we have. If we do not fight this war nothing will come out until we die.
"These men have oppressed the people for a long time. This time they have to kill, really kill us. These men have stolen our youth.

"We did not enjoy it at all. All the people in London are heeding the message that on the day they will besiege our embassies even those in America they will be in action on 21 and 31 July.

"Those in Australia and South Africa are all saying they will be taking action. I will fight the State since I'm not easily intimidated".

The State closed its submissions arguing that Sikhala was properly charged and the facts before the court disclose an offence.

Magistrate Lazini Ncube will give a ruling on the application today.

Source - Daily News

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