20 STATE WITNESSES AGAINST SIKHALA newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

THE State has lined up 20 witnesses to testify against
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and
Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) accused of inciting members of the public
to commit violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told Harare magistrate Felix
Mandaza yesterday that Sikhala and Sithole mobilised Nyatsime residents to
commit violence during the funeral wake of murdered CCC activist Moreblessing
Ali last week.

Several properties were destroyed during the melee.

The duo’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama argued that the State
failed to give justifiable reasons why the MPs were being denied bail, adding
that investigating officer Gift Mutamba failed to submit evidence proving that
Sikhala and Sithole committed an offence, for instance, that they distributed
fliers mobilising people to commit public violence.

“One previous conviction and substantiated by facts cannot
be said that Sikhala is likely to commit another offence. The reason of joining
the second accused person (Sithole) is also not explained,” Muchadehama

He said it was also impossible for the two MPs to mobilise
people in Nyatsime to perpetrate violence when they were not legislators of
that area.

“They are not village heads that can influence villagers.
Only the Seke headman can influence people in that area,” Muchadehama argued.

He further argued that the words uttered by Sikhala while
in Nyatsime were not incitement of violence, adding that the legislator was not
likely to flee as his passport has been with the clerk of court since 2019.

Muchadehama proposed that his clients be granted $20 000
bail each.

Mandaza postponed the matter to tomorrow for bail ruling.


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