Sikhala seeks recusal of magistrate Job Sikhala

Senior Court Reporter

CCC legislator Job Sikhala on Thursday notified the State that he will apply for the recusal of the magistrate trying him on the charge of inciting public violence in Nyatsime area in June over what she said when she denied him bail on Monday.

Sikhala is jointly charged with Chitungwiza North CCC legislator Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole for incitement to commit public violence.

Their trial was expected to open on Thursday before Harare magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti, but Sikhala, through lawyer Mr Jeremiah Bamu, indicated that he wanted to file an application for the recusal of Mrs Miti from the case.

Mr Bamu told the court that the application for recusal arose from sentiments expressed by the court when delivering Monday’s ruling dismissing Sikhala’s application for bail on changed circumstances, and Sikhala was now worried he might not receive a fair trial.

Mr Bamu indicated that he will file his written application for recusal on Monday.

The State led by Mr George Manokore and Mr Ephraim Zinyandu indicated that they will respond to the application on Wednesday next week.

Mrs Miti will then rule on the application for recusal a week later on December 7.

The court dismissed Sikhala’s application for bail on changed circumstances, saying he was likely to commit similar offences once released from remand prison.

It was also noted in the ruling that the State has a strong case against Sikhala and it was not in the best interest in the delivery of justice to grant him bail.

Mrs Miti also noted in her ruling that Sikhala was an unrepentant offender and it would be ‘mischievous for any judicial officer to grant him bail under such circumstances.

The grounds for the continued refusal of bail are still the same as what were originally given. Sithole was granted bail on changed cirumstances.

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