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Sikhala tells court that he has been arrested 64 times but never fled

by Staff reporter
02 Sep 2020 at 07:51hrs | Views
MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala told a court on Tuesday that he has been arrested on 64 occasions over the years, including being charged with treason, and he never failed to abide by conditions of his release on bail.

Sikhala made the argument as he appeared before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube in his ongoing bail application.

The outspoken politician who was arrested on August 21 faces charges of inciting Zimbabweans to stage violent mass protests to oust President Emmerson Mnangagwa's regime.

Sikhala told court that he is a family man who has been charged with more serious offences before, but did not give the police any trouble while on remand.

"The struggle for social justice has never been fought on the plane of violence, and the State should not invite me to a territory which I'm not part of," he said.

"I'm not a flight risk and have never absconded even while facing more serious matters such as treason or subversion."

Sikhala also told court that he was never a fugitive from justice, despite police putting his name on a list of 14 opposition and pro-democracy activists they said were wanted in connection with incitement of public violence ahead of planned protests on July 31.

It was his testimony that he was arrested while resting in his bedroom together with wife, and not while hiding in a ceiling as alleged.

The legislator also told court that the CID Law and Order officers were aware of all his addresses, as such they could have looked for him there before assuming he was hiding.

He also told the court during cross-examination with the state that the officers including those handling his case knew him personally.

"The police went looking for me at my rural home but they knew my second address. They never bothered to look for me there," he said.

"Detectives Makore and Mukova know me and they frequent my office asking for money to buy lunch or beer."

He said the state was opposing bail because it was all planned since they told him following his arrest that he was going to rot in prison.

His bail hearing continues Wednesday.

Source - zimlive