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Sikhala Appeals Conviction for Inciting Violence

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Convicted former legislator Job Sikhala has filed an appeal against both his conviction and sentence for inciting public violence, according to court papers filed at the High Court.

Rutendo Maraire

Sikhala was sentenced in February to a suspended nine-month jail term on charges of inciting public violence stemming from social media posts. The charges were related to the murder of political activist Moreblessing Ali in 2022.

The High Court papers confirm the appeal, stating: "The Appellant hereby appeals against the whole judgment (conviction and sentence) of the Magistrate's Court... wherein Appellant was convicted of the crime of contravening Section 31(a)(iil) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act."

Sikhala's lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict and announced their intention to appeal. He characterized the appeal as a "registration of our displeasure" with the lower court's decision.

This marks the latest development in a long-running legal case surrounding Sikhala, a prominent figure in Zimbabwe's opposition movement. He was previously convicted in May 2023 for obstruction of justice and received a suspended sentence. He was released from prison earlier this year after spending nearly two years behind bars.

The appeal's outcome remains to be seen, with the High Court yet to schedule a hearing. The case highlights the ongoing legal challenges faced by opposition figures in Zimbabwe and the complex political landscape of the nation.


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