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Job Sikhala freed Of Inciting public violence

Former Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, has been acquitted of charges of inciting public violence by Harare Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro. Sikhala was arrested in connection with his alleged involvement in the antigovernment protest on July 31st.

Rutendo Maraire

In her ruling, Magistrate Guwuriro emphasized the absence of sufficient evidence presented by the state to substantiate the guilt of the accused, leading to her decision to acquit Sikhala.

“In the absence of no other evidence, it cannot be said that the state has managed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt by establishing false irrelevant facts in the main charge and in the alternative charge,” she stated.

Sikhala's lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, argued that the state failed to produce authentic evidence during the lengthy trial, ultimately resulting in the court's decision to acquit his client. Nkomo explained, “The court found that no, the state evidence did not meet the required standards, and to that end, Job Sikhala has been acquitted.”

Sikhala faced an alternative charge of incitement to commit public violence and incitement to participate in a gathering with the intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace, or bigotry. The charges were defined in section 187(1)(b) and section 36(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, as well as section 187(1)(a) and section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, respectively.

Having spent 595 days at Chikurubhi Maximum Prison, Sikhala's case endured for a year and eight months before his acquittal.


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