Job Sikhala handed six-months suspended sentence and $US600 fine
Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa has convicted opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala of obstructing justice by misleading the police.
The outspoken legislator was given a wholly suspended 6 month sentence after conviction for defeating the course of justice. The magistrate fined him US$600 or 6 months in jail if he cannot pay it.
In her ruling she said the State was able to prove that Sikhala was the one who authored and posted the video recording which claimed that the late Ali was killed by Zanu-PF members.
“The court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Sikhala was the one who recorded and uploaded the video. Sikhala was aware that police were investigating the murder case but he went ahead to make utterances that misled the police investigations,” she said.
She added that the evidence led by the State witnesses corroborate each other and Sikhala is found guilty of obstructing the course of justice.
The Zengeza West legislator’s family lawyer Freddy Masarirevu said Sikhala will remain in prison pending the other case he is accused of inciting public violence.
Sikhala’s conviction comes a few days after Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was jailed three years after being found guilty of inciting public violence.
Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who is facing the same charges which led to the conviction of Ngarivhume accused the courts of exercising bias.
“As expected, Zimbabwe’s political prisoner and opposition MP Job Sikhala has been convicted for attempting to defeat the course of justice by Lady Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa .
“The use of courts to persecute opposition politicians and critics has become standard,” he said.
CCC vice president Tendai Biti said: “The Harare Magistrate Court has just convicted Job Sikhala of obstruction of justice. After Ngaribvumwe’s conviction last week the agenda of weaponization can never be in doubt. We weep for Zimbabwe. We weep for the motherland.”