Sikhala escapes jail term

Sikhala was jointly charged with another opposition politician Godfrey Sithole.

FORMER Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, was on Tuesday freed by a Harare magistrate after spending nearly two years in custody on a charge of incitement to public violence.

Sikhala was jointly charged with another opposition politician Godfrey Sithole. 

The duo was convicted last week.

Magistrate Tafadzwa Miti yesterday slapped the two with a wholly suspended two-year sentence each on condition that they do not commit the same offence in five years. Miti said a non-custodial sentence was befitting for Sikhala as he spent close to two years behind bars.

The magistrate ruled: “In this case, public violence eventually erupted in the Nyatsime area. However, the court has taken note of the fact that the two are both first offenders. First offenders should be given a second chance.

“In this case, the court has the view that the two will not reoffend. Secondly, the offenders have already faced pretrial incarceration.

“Both the accused’s two-year imprisonment is wholly suspended on condition of good behaviour.”

Sikhala was arrested on June 14, 2022 alongside Sithole and 14 other CCC activists from Nyatsime in connection with violent skirmishes at the funeral of slain activist Moreblessing Ali.

He was accused of inciting party activists to avenge her death.

Ali was abducted, murdered and her remains were dumped in a disused well, dismembered.

Sikhala had several of his applications for bail turned down with the State saying he was an unrepentant repeat offender.

At one time, citizens based in Zimbabwe and abroad petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene to secure his release.

In November last year, Sikhala had another charge of obstructing the course of justice quashed by the High Court on appeal.

He was convicted of obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly accused Zanu PF of murdering Ali.

Related Topics