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Job Sikhala seeks recusal of magistrate, says “can’t receive fair trial”

Incarcerated opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice Chairman and MP Job Sikhala has filed an application seeking recusal of presiding magistrate Tafadzwa Miti.

Sikhala who is jointly charged with incitement to commit public violence together with fellow MP Godfrey Sithole and 14 residents of Nyatsime accuses Miti of exercising bias in presiding over the matter.

The Zengeza West legislator appeared before Miti on Wednesday and he was denied bail.

His lawyer Jeremiah Bamu said the decision to apply for the recusal of the magistrate was emanated from the latest bail ruling against his client.

“We are aware this matter is scheduled for trial commencement. However, we have instructions to seek recusal of the magistrate from this matter,” Bamu said.

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“This is respectfully because of the apprehension that the accused may not receive a fair trial if proceedings were to continue before you,” said the lawyer.

Accordingly, Sikhala is set to submit a written application on Monday, while the State elected to respond on November 30 and the defence will replicate on December 1.

Miti postponed the matter to December 7 for ruling.

Sikhala has clocked more than 164 days in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. His colleagues were all released on bail.

They were all arrested on 14 June for allegedly inciting to commit public violence to avenge the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.

Ali was brutally murdered by alleged Zanu-PF member Pius Jamba in June this year. Her remains were found in pieces without the head.

The deceased’s family is currently seeking closure.