Zimbabwe: Nothing Special About You – Magistrate Tells Job Sikhala

Citizen’s Coalition for Change Zengeza West Legislator Job Sikhala’s application to have his trial live-streamed was Monday dismissed by Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.

The magistrate ruled that the trial was not of public interest although he is a Member of Parliament.

Gofa said said Sikhala profile does not make it vital to livestream his trial on charges of obstructing the course of justice.

She also ruled that Sikhala represents 16,000 people which is only a fraction of the country’s 200-plus constituencies with far more voters.

“Live-streaming can only be done where there is immense public interest and in this case there is a private concern” she said.

The magistrate also ruled there were no laws that provide for the live-streaming of court proceedings in Zimbabwe.

Members of the public have been told to attended court if interested.

“The case is being held in an open court, no journalist has ever been barred from following and the general public is welcome to attend” , said the magistrate.

Sikhala had told court two of his children were overseas and cannot be physically present to attend his trial.

The lawmaker is accused of disturbing police investigations into the murder of CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali.

He was representing Ali’s family after she was abducted from Nyatsime area by a Zanu PF activist.

Ali’s decomposing body was found 21 days after she went missing.

A memorial service for Ali was held days later and was marred by violence, which left a trail of destruction in the area.

Sikhala was then held accountable, with prosecutors alleging that he was the one who incited violence.

He has been in jail since June 14 last year.

Meanwhile, the trial was postponed to January 20 after Sikhala’s lawyer Advocate Harrison Nkomo told court that the MP was unwell.

Nkomo said Sikhala’s doctor has advised that he takes a two-week break from court.

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