Sikhala wants apex court referral
Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
MDC-Alliance legislator Job Sikhala yesterday applied for referral of his matter in which he is charged with publishing false statements prejudicial to the State to the Constitutional Court.
Sikhala said he wants the ConCourt to determine whether his rights are not being infringed when being charged with an offence that has been outlawed by the High Court.
He said the High Court had pronounced that there is no offence called publishing falsehoods in the country’s statutes in its judgment where activist Hopewell Chin’ono had challenged his prosecution on the same charges.
Sikhala argued that there was no reason for him to continue appearing in court over charges that had been pronounced non-existent by an upper court. He allegedly posted on his Facebook account that:
“This monstrosity in our country must end. People are already suffering through a myriad of problems and you just take a baton stick and kill a nine months’ child. We have reached a boiling point.” The State alleges that by posting the statement, Sikhala intended to incite or promote public disorder and violence, thereby endangering public safety.
In his application, Sikhala disowned the Facebook account describing it as a ghost account created by someone using his name.
“There is no need for me to continue coming here when the High Court has already ruled that there is no offence called publishing falsehoods in the Hopewell Chin’ono case.
“I don’t have a Facebook page. It is a ghost page that was created by someone using my name because I am a well-known individual.
“The State has not shown any evidence that it belongs to me,” he said.
The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed Sikhala’s application saying he had not exhausted other avenues before he took the matter to the ConCourt.
Mr Mutsokoti said Sikhala has an option of applying for an exception to the charges, apply for review of the matter to the High Court.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje is expected to make a ruling on November 30, 2021.