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Sikhala freedom bid flops

ZENGEZA West legislator Job Sikhala’s bail bid, in the matter in which he is being accused of obstruction of justice, hit a brick wall yesterday.

The presiding magistrate ruled that he was not a suitable candidate for bail.

Harare regional magistrate, Stanford Mambanje, presided over the matter.

“Accused was arraigned before this court while he was already in remand prison on another charge and filed an application for bail pending trial.

“Bail may be denied where compelling reasons are present and these are reasons that are forceful and convincing to the court to deny the accused person bail.

“The court should strike a balance between the interests of justice and the rights of the accused person.

“Presumption of innocence still stands until proven guilty but the court is convinced that there’s a case to be ventilated by the accused during trial.

“He’s facing three other charges and, after being released on bail, he was arrested on another inciting public violence charge.

“While he’s innocent this court cannot make a bail decision oblivious of the other pending cases.

“He was ordered not to post videos, words or gestures that incite violence and not to address a virtual meeting or online inciting violence.

“His conduct is closely related to what he was ordered not to do by the High Court and it would be mischievous to grant bail to an accused person who had proven to be unrepentant.

“There’s a pronounced risk that the public will lose trust in the justice system if he’s granted bail and therefore bail is denied,” said Mambanje.

Sikhala was remanded in custody to August 10.

Allegations are that between May 25 and June 16, Sikhala, knowing that the Moreblessing Ali murder case was under investigation and a manhunt for the suspect Pius Jamba Mukandi was underway, addressed mourners in Nyatsime, Beatrice.

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