Sikhala, Mahere fight for freedom

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Blessing Masakadza

SENIOR STAFF WRITER 

masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw 

Sikhala’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, yesterday argued before Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna that his client was being charged with violating Section 31 of the Criminal Code, which was struck off by the Constitutional Court.

“The State has arrested, dragged him to court and sought to place him on remand on a charge that was struck off by the Constitutional Court.

“An act that violates the Constitution has no power. It was struck off, it is dead, and can’t see the light of day neither can it be resurrected,” Nkomo told the court.

However, Nduna ruled that the statute stands by virtue of amendment number 3 of 2016 and he will proceed to make a ruling on Sikhala’s refusal to be placed on remand today.

Sikhala is being charged for 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.

“This monstrosity in our country must come to an end. People are already suffering through a myriad of 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.

In another matter, MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere appeared before regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe facing the same charges.

She will be in custody until Friday when the court will deliver a ruling on the State’s application to place her on remand.

Mahere was not asked to plead to the allegations and challenged her placement on remand, also arguing that the law she was being charged with was null and void as it was deemed unconstitutional.

Mahere also complained to the court about the conditions at Harare Central Police Station where she was detained.

She said the cells were in a deplorable state, unhygienic with a strong stench of urine that made one choke even when wearing a mask.

The State, represented by Charles Muchemwa, said their application to place her on remand should stand as it was supported by law.

Mahere will spend three more nights in custody as she waits for the court to deliver a ruling on her challenge and the court also expects a detailed report on the complaints she raised.

 

MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala will today continue his fight for freedom following his arrest on allegations of peddling falsehoods on social media.

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