SENIOR STAFF WRITER
MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala is expected to appear in court today following his arrest at the weekend for allegedly peddling falsehoods on social media.
The garrulous Zengeza West legislator was arrested at the Harare Magistrates’ Court after he allegedly tweeted comments regarding a widely-circulated video of a scuffle between a cop and a woman in the capital last week.
Social media users claimed the cop had allegedly beaten to death the woman’s baby with a baton during an operation to drive people away from an illegal commuter omnibus pick-up point.
Police later dismissed the claims, saying that both the woman and the baby were fine following the scuffle.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Sikhala is being charged for publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State.
Sikhala had on Saturday morning written on social media that he had received information that the police were after him.
Last year, Sikhala spent prolonged periods in remand prison after he was arrested for allegedly inciting public violence through social media posts ahead of the much touted July 31 demonstration against corruption.
Sikhala was eventually freed by the High Court, having been denied bail by a Harare magistrate.
The July 31 demonstration also resulted in the arrest of Jacob Ngarivhume and Godfrey Tsenengamu, also accused of inciting people through social media.
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.”
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 growing, corruption is in trouble and hope is on the way.”
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.”