MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole to spend weekend in jail
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole will spend the weekend in prison after their arrest on Tuesday following clashes with Zanu PF youths in Chitungwiza at the funeral wake for murdered CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.
In opposing bail for the two MPs, the State fielded Detective Sergeant Gift Mutamba, an investigating officer handling the matter and he gave a break down of the violence.
“The area is still tense and the police are on the ground.
“About 13 shops at Chibhanguza shops had their windows smashed, a gazebo razed, four beer halls were destroyed, a house was burnt while other several houses had their windows and roofs smashed,” he said.
“Accused 1 (Sikhala) has a pending case of incitement at Harare Magistrates Court on CRB ACC97/2020.
“As part of his bail conditions it was said that accused is not supposed to post any content on WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media which incites members of the public to engage in acts of public violence.
“Pending finalisation of this matter, the appellant shall not post videos or audios on social media platform with content likely to incites other to commit acts of violence,” he said.
Defence lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, who is representing Sikhala and Sithole, told the court that the two were proper candidates for bail.
He said Sikhala has been arrested for 67 times and has never been convicted.
Mr Muchadehama said Sikhala has not absconded attending court at all material times.
“Accused 1 was arrested on 67 occasions and appeared in court. Charges were withdrawn on other matters and he was acquitted on other matters.
“No indicator that he has propensity to commit more offences. These charges are as a result of political harassment and no other reasons,” he said.
Mr Muchadehama said his clients did not post the video which is said to have incited people to cause violence in Nyatsime.
Both Sikhala and Sithole are expected back in court on Monday for continuation of their bail application.
The State is opposed to the granting of bail to Sikhala saying he tried to evade arrest. It argues he got injuried as he attempted to flee.
“When he saw police behind his yard he wanted to flee but he slipped on the durawall, was cut by the wire,” read the charge sheet.
Ali’s body was found last Saturday cut into pieces and her intestines packed in a plastic bag and thrown into a well at the Beatrice home of claimed Zanu PF supporter and murder suspect Pius Jamba.
Jamba has since been arrested and due to appear in court. The police said the murder had no political connection.
Prosecutors allege that Sikhala incited violence by urging Zimbabweans to avenge Ali’s murder in a video which went viral on social media.
Sithole, the CCC Member of Parliament for Chitungwiza North, is charged with participating in inciting violence and arranging lorries which ferried party activists who attacked the homes of Zanu PF supporters.