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Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala Denied Bail Again

A Harare magistrate Tuesday dismissed a bail application by Zengeza West Member of Parliament, Job Sihkala, in a case he is accused of obstructing the course of justice.

Magistrate, Stenford Mambanje cited that no new facts had been put before him to revisit his last ruling. In passing the ruling, the magistrate said ‘new’ facts submitted by Sikhala had not changed the basis upon which bail was initially refused. NewZimbabwe.com cites Mambanje as saying:

Having given due consideration to the facts of this case, and the applicable legal principles, l am satisfied that the applicant has not discharged the burden to satisfy me that there has been an exceptional change in circumstances warranting that l review in his favour the order previously made by this court denying the applicant bail pending trial.

These new facts have not changed the basis upon which bail was initially refused, it is for these reasons that this application must fail.

Sikhala’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa had argued that there was no likelihood that Sikhala would interfere with the State’s investigations and that the passage of time was enough for the court to revisit its ruling.

Mtetwa also told the court that, the State only based its opposition on the basis that the lawmaker had violated a bail condition, and yet they had not provided any evidence of that to the court. She argued:

The investigating officer in this matter based his opposition on the ground of violation of a bail condition. However, the State has failed to place the evidence of the bail violations before the court.

In response, the State, represented by Lancelot Mutsokoti, said Sikhala’s continued detention was justifiable considering the seriousness of the offence he is facing. He added:

There is nothing political about this prosecution and we deny such allegations by the accused.

Background:

Sikhala and 13 other members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) were arrested in June over the 14 June violence that erupted in Nyatsime during the funeral wake of slain Moreblessing Ali, a CCC activist.

Sikhala has been at Chikurubi Maximum Prison since then as courts have continuously denied him bail.

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