By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Opposition MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala says the “entire system is congested with idiots” after the outspoken MP was brought to and from court in leg irons on Tuesday.
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere and Sikhala are facing similar charges after a Tweet alleging a police officer had beaten and killed a child strapped to its mother’s back using a baton after a video of the alleged incident went viral.
Magistrate Lazini Ncube will today hand down a ruling on whether to place Chin’ono on remand or not. Regional magistrate Trynos Utahwashe will hand down a similar ruling on Friday but in the case of Mahere. Magistrate Ngoni Nduna will also hand down a ruling today in Sikhala’s case.
But Sikhala fumed at the “system” after the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) brought him to and from court in leg irons despite being warned not to do so by the magistrate.
“They think they will break our spirits. Our spirits will never be broken. We are going to continue fighting for the rights of our citizens,” Sikhala said.
Chin’ono also expressed anger at the development and said, “they put leg irons on him when the magistrate said it’s inhuman. It was a matter of public record, the media recorded the magistrate saying so but they are putting leg irons on him like he is a criminal.”
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, when she arrived at court, a defiant Mahere said they were fighting so that one day Zimbabwe would have a chance to express themselves without intimidation.
“The reason why we are fighting so hard is that people can be free to express themselves and challenge police brutality because it’s their constitutional right. So we will continue to fight,” Mahere said.
Chin’ono who recently exposed alleged corruption involving President Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia and son Collins, in the Covidgate scandal was initially arrested on 20 July last year after being charged with inciting violence in connection with 31st July protests against corruption.
He was arrested together with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume. They spent 45 days at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before being released on bail by the High Court in Harare.
Sikhala was also arrested for the same charge and he was released on bail by the High Court after five weeks.
Chin’ono was arrested again after tweeting that a State prosecutor in the case of a gold smuggler, Henrietta Rushwaya who was arrested after being caught trying to smuggle 6.09kgs of gold to Dubai would consent to bail.
He was charged with undermining the course of justice. Meanwhile, in just six months, Chin’ono is being arrested for the third time while for Sikhala it is the second time for tweets. Nehanda Radio