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Sikhala's supporters denied bail

by Staff reporter
10 Sep 2020 at 06:49hrs | Views
Three suspected MDC-Alliance hooligans who were arrested at the Harare Magistrates Court and found in possession of weapons while demanding the release of the opposition party's vice chairperson, Job Sikhala were yesterday denied bail.

Terrence Manjengwa, Blessed Changara and Barnabas Gura were denied bail by Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko, who said they were likely to abscond trial once freed. Mrs Mateko said the trio has pending cases before different courts.

They are being charged with possession of offensive weapons and contravening the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations.

The trio was not asked to plead to the charges. Prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokota had opposed to granting of the three bail, saying the trio had other pending cases before the courts.

Mr Mutsokoti said they were likely to re-offend once freed on bail. He said Manjengwa had pending cases at Chitungwiza Magistrates Court and at Harare Magistrates Court, which made him not a suitable candidate for bail.

"Chances are high that the accused persons can commit similar offences as Job Sikhala, whom they were in solidarity with seeking his freedom before the courts is still held in custody and as such if granted bail they are likely to commit similar offences," said Mr Mutsokoti.

Circumstances leading to the trio's arrest are that on September 3 this year at around 2pm, they teamed up with other MDC-A members and went to gather at Harare Magistrates' Court.

Sikhala was appearing at the same court and waiting for his bail hearing on charges of inciting public violence by urging people to participate in the flopped July 31 violent protests.

Police had deployed its District Reaction Group (DRG) at the courts to maintain law and order.

The DRG received information to the effect that the trio was aboard an unregistered commuter omnibus parked at the court, which had weapons. Police swiftly reacted and approached the trio and found them with catapults, stones, bolts and nuts and three empty beer bottles.

Upon their apprehension, police are said to have discovered that they had no exemption letters allowing them to travel during the Covid-19 lockdown.

They will return to court on September 30 for their routine remand.

Source - the herald