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Sikhala set for tomorrow

by Staff reporter
10 Sep 2020 at 15:47hrs | Views
THE High Court yesterday postponed to tomorrow the bail appeal for MDC Alliance deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala who is facing charges of inciting public violence ahead of the foiled July 31 protest.

Justice Erica Ndewere moved the case after Sikhala's lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, told the court that he had failed to access a record of proceedings from the magistrate's court where his client was denied bail.

Bamu said the magistrate who handled the initial bail hearing, Lazini Ncube, had gone on leave.
Justice Ndewere then directed Bamu to approach Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi for the release of the record.

"You understand that normally, the magistrate who presided over the case has to go through the record again and sign for it before it can be released to you. You have to approach the chief magistrate and regularise that issue before the matter proceeds on Friday," said Justice Ndewere before postponing the matter.

This comes as Sikhala's lawyers indicated yesterday that they were making efforts that his private doctor visits him at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to assess his condition following reports that his health had deteriorated and he has excessively swollen legs.

In his bail appeal at the High Court, Sikhala is arguing that the magistrate erred grossly and misdirected himself in denying him his freedom.

"The finding by the court a quo that appellant went into hiding for some time before he could be arrested is inconsistent with established evidence in that no evidence was adduced by the State of any effort to contact appellant for him to surrender himself to the police at any stage.

"No evidence was adduced by the State that they made it public that they wanted the appellant in connection with any offence," his lawyers are arguing.

They further say that the police press statement of July 27 did not state the offence he was wanted for - and hence there was no basis for him to surrender himself to the police.

"Even then, there is nothing ex facie the press statement that appellant was sought in connection with the commission of any offence.

"Instead, he was being sought on account of being an activist, which in itself is not an offence.
"No legal obligation arises for one to surrender self to the police merely on account of being labelled an activist by the police," Sikhala's lawyers further argue.

In addition, Sikhala has said that he is prepared to deposit $15 000 as bail, and to also reside at his St Mary's home

until his court case is finalised.

This comes after the Zengeza West legislator was arrested last month, during which police claimed that he had been found hiding in a ceiling at a house in Tynwald North - a western suburb of Harare.

Source - dailynews