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Drama as Sikhala appears in court

By Desmond Chingarande

Police yesterday briefly detained MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala before the firebrand politician was forced to wait for up to seven hours before he could appear in court on charges of inciting public violence.

Sikhala was arrested on Friday on accusations that he was one of the people, who mobilised Zimbabweans to take to the streets on July 31 to protest against corruption.

The protests were, however, thwarted through the heavy deployment of armed security forces across the country.

Tens of people turned up at the Harare magistrates’ courts yesterday to lend moral support to Sikhala and this appeared to have alarmed the police.

Jeremiah Bhamu, who is representing the former student leader, alongside Eric Matinenga was picked outside the court in the morning and was taken to Harare Central Police Station.

Bhamu was released later and he managed to represent his client. It was not clear last night why he was arrested.

Sikhala arrived at the courts at around 9am, but had to wait for seven hours for his case to be heard.

Magistrate Lazini Ncube remanded the matter to tomorrow for bail application.

Sikhala is being charged with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1) (a) as read with section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code, alternatively incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1) (b) of the Code as read with section 36(1) (b) of Code.

Prosecutors alleged that the Zengeza West MP incited people between May 2020 and July 20, 2020 to participate in public demonstrations that would cause public violence and breach of peace among people by posting video clips.

Several opposition activists were arrested for allegedly taking part in the protests while others were abducted and tortured by state security agents.

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