Zimbabwe: Sikhala’s Trial Stalls As He Insists On Magistrate’s Recusal

Jailed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice chairperson Job Sikhala on Wednesday sought postponement of his trial, indicating he wanted to appeal against the magistrate’s ruling dismissing an application seeking her recusal.

Sikhala is jointly charged with fellow CCC MP Godfrey Sithole in a case they are accused of inciting public violence in Nyatsime.

Sikhala feels magistrate Tafadzwa Miti could be biased as she once labelled him an incorrigible unrepentant criminal while dismissing his bail application.

This was despite the fact that he has never been convicted before.

The lawmaker last year asked the magistrate to excuse herself but she refused.

The matter was deferred to January 31.

The legislator’s lawyer Jeremiah Bamu told the court that their application for review had been delayed by the court’s administrative mishaps after they were given an incomplete record of proceedings.

“On the 5th of January we were furnished with a copy of the record of the proceedings and regrettably it is incomplete in the sense that it only covered bail proceedings and did not include other applications and their responses.

“We have thus not been able to make the application,” he said.

In response, the State represented by George Manokore told the court that the intended application for review would not deter court proceedings from continuing.

Bamu indicated that his client was alive to that and would make a urgent chamber application for stay of proceedings if the court did not approve postponement.

Sikhala was arrested together with Sithole, and a dozen other party activists for allegedly inciting the violence which rocked slain CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali’s funeral.

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