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Weekend in prison for CCC MPs

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Weekend in prison for CCC MPs

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VIOLENCE that recently erupted in Nyatsime, Beatrice following the alleged incitement to cause public disturbances by two CCC legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Karakadzai Sithole, left a trail of destruction on properties, a court heard yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Gift Mutamba, an investigating officer handling the matter, told the court that the violence left 13 shops at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre in Nyatsime destroyed and various houses’ windows smashed.

He also told the court that a gazebo was razed by fire, four beer holes were destroyed and a house was burnt to the ground.

Det Sgt Mutamba said this while testifying when opposing bail against Sikhala and Sithole at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Sikhala and Sithole, who are MPs for Zengeza West and Chitungwiza North, are being charged with incitement to commit public violence.

“The area is still tense and the police are on the ground.

“About 13 shops at Chibhanguza shops had their windows smashed, a gazebo razed, four beer halls were destroyed, a house was burnt while other several houses had their windows and roofs smashed,” he said.

Det Sgt told the court that the two legislators were likely to abscond in freed on bail since they were likely to face lengthy jail terms of up to 10 years.

“Accused 1 (Sikhala) has a pending case of incitement at Harare Magistrates Court on CRB ACC97/2020.

“As part of his bail conditions it was said that accused is not supposed to post any content on WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media which incites members of the public to engage in acts of public violence.

“Pending finalisation of this matter, the appellant shall not post videos or audios on social media platform with content likely to incites other to commit acts of violence,” he said.

The State led by Mt Michael Reza, in cementing Det Sgt Mutamba’s opposing testimony, said Sikhala and Sithole acted in common purpose in inciting the public.

“They were acting in common purpose.

“Immediately after posting of the video an orgy of violence erupted. “People were assaulted, vehicles stoned and a house was burnt down.

“The State is not saying they were the ones who threw stones, but accused, who are community leaders supported and facilitated the destruction that followed.

“They included themselves by saying “WE” in the video,” he said.

Mr Reza told the court that the two had a propensity of being repeat offenders, once granted bail.

“There is a pending case which is at State case and accused again, he is back to his old tricks and this time with devastating consequences,” he said.

Mr Reza said Sikhala and Sithole’s conduct was not consistent with that expected of community leaders.

Lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, who is representing Sikhala and Sithole, told the court that the two were proper candidates for bail.

He said Sikhala has been arrested for 67 times and has never been convicted.
Mr Muchadehama said Sikhala has not absconded attending court at all material times.

“Accused 1 was arrested on 67 occasions and appeared in court. Charges were withdrawn on other matters and he was acquitted on other matters.

“No indicator that he has propensity to commit more offences. These charges are as a result of political harassment and no other reasons,” he said.

Mr Muchadehama told the court that the two did not post the video which is said to have incited people to cause violence in Nyatsime.

Sikhala and Sithole are expected back in court on Monday for continuation of their bail application.

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