Sikhala in another bail bid Job Sikhala

Senior Court Reporter 

Zengeza West Member of Parliament Job Sikhala will today mount another fresh bail application on changed circumstances in a case he is accused of attempting to sway police investigations in the murder and public violence that rocked Nyatsime area after the alleged murder of Moreblessing Ali by her boyfriend.

Sikhala is charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

He is accused of uttering and sharing words that were likely to hinder police investigations.

The CCC legislator was denied bail after the court ruled that he had violated another High Court bail condition that barred him from posting or addressing gatherings.

Through his legal team led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Sikhala wanted to mount his bail bid yesterday, but the court indicated that it was overwhelmed and ordered him to return to court today for the application.

He appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Feresi Chakanyuka.

In a separate, yet related matter, Sikhala is also expected back in court tomorrow for ruling on another bail application on changed circumstances where he is accused of inciting public violence in the same area.

In his application, Sikhala argued that his co-accused, Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole, was bailed out and he should be treated equally.

Sithole was granted $300 000 bail recently.

Sikhala told the court that he never posted any video on social media as the State alleged, saying no witness will testify in court that he was responsible for such social media posts.

In its response, the State led by Mr George Manokore said Sithole’s conduct was different from that of Sikhala.

“At hand we have (Godfrey Karakadzayi Sithole) the second accused person who was granted bail by this court and thus the accused person number 1 now wants to ride on that, saying he should be granted bail as well,” he said. 

“The State will submit that their circumstances are different. It is the State’s submission that the court should look at the reasons that were previously presented or given by the court in denying the accused bail.

“The change of circumstances should go to the roots of such reasons by the court. The applicant deliberately left that aspect of the previous court’s ruling.” 

Sikhala was initially denied bail on grounds that he defied a High Court bail condition that compelled him not to address the public until that matter was finalised.

The State says Sikhala breached the condition set for him by addressing the public, thus inciting them to commit public violence in the process.

“The question that then arise is whether there is anything that had changed thus disturbing the basis of denial of bail by the court earlier,” he said.

The State said Sithole did not breach any bail condition like his co-accused.

“What basically the State is saying is that the applicant cannot then claim that he must be treated alike with accused 2, Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole,” he said.

Mr Manokore also said that the matter has been set for trial on November 24 and Sikhala is now aware of the evidence weighing against him.

The State also said that Sikhala is a legal practitioner who knows the effects of defying court orders and his trust with further conditions has been eroded.

Magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti indicated that she wants to go through the submissions and High Court judgment that resulted in the bail conditions that Sikhala violated before making her ruling tomorrow.

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