Job Sikhala cases spill into 2021

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CRIMINAL cases against politicians Job Sikhala, Jacob Ngarivhume and Godfrey Tsenengamu, who were accused of inciting public violence ahead of the foiled July 31 demonstrations, will spill into 2021.

Sikhala and Ngarivhume were yesterday remanded to January 11 and 15 respectively. The State said it would avail them with trial dates when they appear in court next year.

Tsenengamu was also remanded to January 15 with the State saying investigations into his matter are still ongoing. His lawyer Harrison Nkomo said they will be applying for refusal of further remand if a trial date is not provided on the day.

The trio was arrested and charged separately for allegedly using social media to incite people to participate in the demonstration. Sikhala allegedly incited people by tweeting, “People from Zambezi to Limpopo to Forbes Border Post to Victoria Falls 31 July 2020 should be your day.

This is the kind of war that we have. If we do not fight this war nothing will come out until we die. These men have oppressed the people for a long time.

This time they have to kill, really kill us. These men have stolen our youth.” After the security forces came out in full force to thwart the protests, Sikhala quickly went into hiding.

The firebrand MDC Alliance deputy chairperson is alleged to have continued to tweet and post videos on social media encouraging the public to rise up against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and Zanu PF.

Sikhala was finally arrested following weeks on the run after he was allegedly found hiding in a ceiling of a house in Tynwald. On the other hand, Ngarivhume allegedly tweeted: “Today I spent the day meeting and consulting different stakeholders, mobilising for the July 31 movement. I met with top bishops, Ian Makone, Dr Shingi Munyeza, Elton Mangoma and Cde Godfrey Tsenaz. The buy-in is growing, corruption is in trouble and hope is on the way.”

The Transform Zimbabwe leader was arrested just a few days before the planned protests. According to the State, Tsenengamu also tweeted: “I am not sure about the results of this approach. Anyway, Zimbabwe must win. The Green Revolution is saying corruption and looting must fall on July 31.”

The former Zanu PF youth league boss went into hiding for a considerable time and only resurfaced after surrendering to the police on October 9.

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