ZIMBABWEAN police on Friday 21 August 2020 arrested and charged Zengeza West constituency legislator Hon. Job Sikhala for allegedly inciting people to commit public violence through participating in last month’s protest, which was aimed at registering concern over mismanagement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Sikhala was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members in Harare, who charged him with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
ZRP officers also pressed an alternative charge against Hon. Sikhala of incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 36(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act or alternatively incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 187(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
ZRP officers alleged that the Zengeza West constituency legislator incited people between May 2020 and 20 July 2020 to participate in public demonstrations that would cause public violence and breach of peace among people in Zimbabwe on 31 July 2020 by posting video clips with inciting messages.
ZRP members said some of the inciting messages allegedly shared by Hon. Sikhala reads; “People of Zimbabwe l am here with my brother Jacob Ngarivhume, he is representing the citizens of Zimbabwe in the current situation in our country. I would like to tell everybody from Zimbabwe to Limpopo, from Forbes boarder to Victoria Falls that on the 31st of July 2020 it is your day to speak out. We have all agreed that we cannot accept corruption in our country. We are in total support of the actions that have been called on the 31st of July 2020. I am in arms with my brother here and we are going to make sure that on the 31st of July 2020 people of Zimbabwe will speak out”.
Hon. Sikhala is also alleged to have circulated a video clip in which he showed gratitude to some people for bringing him food and urging people both in Zimbabwe and outside the country to participate in the demonstration which was scheduled for 31 July 2020, which ZRP members suppressed and arrested several people who staged protests across the country last month.
Hon. Sikhala, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Advocate Eric Matinenga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, is expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Saturday 22 August 2020.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights