Job Sikhala challenges arrest
FIREBRAND MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala believes his arrest is unconstitutional as the law he is being charged under was struck off by the Supreme Court in 2014.
Sikhala is being charged with communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State emanating from a social media post he made while commenting on a widely-circulated video of a scuffle between a cop and a woman last week in the capital.
It was alleged the police officer had beaten the woman’s child to death with a baton during an operation to drive out illegal commuter omnibuses from the central business district.
The Zengeza West legislator appeared before Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna yesterday to answer to the allegations. Sikhala, who is being represented by Jeremiah Bamu, will be back in court today to challenge his placement on remand.
“This monstrosity in our country must come to an end. People are already suffering through a myriad problems and you just take your baton and kill a nine-month-old child. “We have reached a boiling point. This year igore rezvimbokoma (It’s a year of fighting). Wait and see. I swear with my dead mother,” Sikhala is alleged to have posted on Facebook.
Sikhala argues that the statute was struck off and that the alleged statements do not constitute an offence. “There is no charge on which the accused may be placed on remand and the alternative charge was struck off in the Chimakure and others case against the Attorney General.
“The main charge was also declared unconstitutional. “The statement he is alleged to have made also does not constitute an offence,” Bamu said.
The State believes it has a case against the Zengeza West legislator, alleging that the statement he made intended to incite or promote public disorder or violence, thereby endangering public safety and or removing confidence in a law enforcement agency.
When he initially appeared in court, Sikhala raised several complaints against the police, alleging that he had been put in a cell and office with someone, who was in contact with people who tested positive to Covid-19.
Bamu, however, withdrew the complaints, saying they will pursue issues to do with Sikhala’s liberty.