‘No surprises’ as Sikhala denied bail in obstruction of justice case
It seemingly has become the norm that the Magistrate Courts in Zimbabwe do not grant bail to opposition politicians who may have been arrested and charged with politically related cases
This observation was made by top human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on Tuesday afternoon after her client Job Sikhala was denied bail in the case he is facing charges of obstructing the course of justice.
Sikhala who is detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for charges of inciting public violence together with another Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Godfrey Sithole, was slapped with another charge of obstructing the course of justice.
On Tuesday, the magistrates court denied him bail in the latter case. He was represented by Mtetwa.
Addressing journalists at the Rotten Row Magistrate Court, Mtetwa said she was not surprised by the denial of bail.
“The Magistrate refused to give Mr Sikhala bail,” she said.
“Nothing unusual about that. We knew that that was going to be the decision because it has become normal for magistrates to refuse bail all the time in cases of this matter. So, we will be doing the usual appeal to the High Court. There were no surprises there.”
Sikhala, Sithole and 13 other CCC activists were arrested at the funeral wake of murdered party member Moreblessing Ali in May this year.
They were charged with incitement to commit public violence to avenge the death of Ali. Sikhala is the family lawyer of the slain activist.
He was, together with Sithole, denied bail by both the Magistrates and High Court before being slapped with the current charge.
The Zengeza West legislator has since engaged a leading international law firm, Amsterdam & Partners based in the United Kingdom and the United States to help him in the case.
He will be represented for free.