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Magistrates, prosecutors claim ‘too busy’ to handle Job Sikhala case

The end of the pre-trial incarceration of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Job Sikhala is likely not to end soon as magistrates and prosecutors are seemingly reluctant to preside over his cases.

Yesterday (Monday), Sikhala and his lawyers spent the whole day at the Harare Magistrates Court waiting for trial to begin in the case he is accused of obstructing the course of justice. But the prosecutors were not available.

His lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu said they then opted for bail application but the magistrate who was in court 14 told them he was too occupied to handle the application.

“We were supposed to proceed to trial on the case in which he is charged for obstructing the course of justice. Apparently, the State did not have the prosecutor to handle the case,” Bamu said.

“We ended up taking the option to apply for bail under changed circumstances. But once again the state was not ready and there was no prosecutor to help us. We were tossed from one court to another.

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“But eventually we were asked to go to court 14 where the magistrate then said due to pressure for the work that she already had, she was not ready to handle the matter today. She postponed it to tomorrow (Tuesday).”

Sikhala has already spent more than five months jailed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison over allegations of inciting public violence. He was arrested on 14 June together with fellow MP Godfrey Sithole and 14 residents of Nyatsime.

They were all charged with incitement to commit public violence to avenge the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

Sithole and the Nyatsime members have since been released on bail.