Sikhala Pleads Not Guilty As Subversion Trial Commences

ZENGEZA West legislator Hon. Job Sikhala on Monday 3 February 2020 pleaded not guilty when his trial on charges of plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government commenced before High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze.

Asked by Justice Mawadze on how he responds to charges of subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Hon. Sikhala said “Not Guilty My Lord”.

Sikhala, who is out of custody on bail is on trial after he was arrested on Tuesday 9 July 2019 and charged with subverting constitutional government.

Prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare told Justice Mawadze that Hon. Sikhala advocated for the overthrowing of government through unconstitutional means during his address to some MDC party supporters at a political rally held on Saturday 6 July 2019 at Mandadzaka Primary School in Bikita in Masvingo province.

Hon. Sikhala’s lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Jeremiah Bamu, Blessing Nyamaropa and Tinomuda Shoko of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights immediately filed an application excepting to the charges of subverting constitutional government arguing that the charges do not disclose an offence.

The lawyers charged that the prosecution of Hon. Sikhala is just harassment of the opposition MDC Alliance party legislator through the use of the criminal justice system.

However, Zvekare opposed Hon. Sikhala’s application and made a bold claim that the Zengeza West legislator wanted to stage a coup with the intention of toppling President Mnangagwa from power.

Justice Mawadze will hand down judgment on Hon. Sikhala’s application for exception on Friday 14 February 2020.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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