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Senior Court Reporter

A three-day postponement of Job Sikhala’s trial on charges of obstruction of justice for trying to hinder police investigations did not warrant him to be considered for bail, Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa ruled yesterday.

Sikhala was appearing in court on allegations of obstructing police investigations into the murder of Moreblessing Ali in June and into the resulting violence. In a separate trial he is appearing on charges of actually inciting the resulting , violence that ensued in the Nyatsime area. 

Yesterday’s trial was over whether he allegedly recorded and posted a video on social media which, according to the State, was aimed at hindering police investigations.

Sikhala had asked Mrs Gofa to consider granting him bail after the State asked for a postponement to furnish him with extra documents needed for the defence preparations.

Through his lawyers, Sikhala unsuccessfully opposed the State’s postponement request.

He then asked the court to consider him for bail arguing that the State was not ready to prosecute him.

Mrs Gofa turned down his request saying a short remand of “only three days does not warrant him to be considered for bail.”

Mrs Gofa the ordered Sikhala to return to court on January 3 for trial.

Sikhala denied the charges when his trial started and applied to be excepted to the charges, that is to have the charges dropped.

In denying the charges, he told the court that he did not post or cause anyone to record and post on social media the video that the State alleged had hindered police investigations.

Sikhala said he had no knowledge that police had launched investigations into the matter, adding that he was only providing legal services to Ali’s family.

He also argued that there was an unnecessary split of charges from the one he was charged with incitement to commit public violence, which arose from the same incident.

Sikhala argued there was nowhere in the video that showed him addressing or giving information to the police and there was no utterance where the police were asked to act on what he said.

Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa dismissed the two applications and ruled that the matter goes to trial.


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