Activist state

CCC’s Sikhala and Sithole drop scheduled bail appeal after state refuses to give them case documents; MPs have now spent 113 days in jail

By Staff Reporter


CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmakers Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole have dropped their planned appeal against a magistrate’s decision denying them bail for the fifth time.

The two deputies, who face charges of incitement to public violence, have now turned the spotlight back to their earlier request to obtain state papers in order to prepare for their trial.

sikhala and Sithole on Thursday appeared before Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi and were remanded to October 20 for routine pre-trial detention.

Their lawyer Jeremiah Bamu told the court his clients were no longer interested in appealing Tuesday’s decision denying them bail.

“The defendants have made the decision not to proceed further with the appeal of yesterday’s case, but they will request the copy of yesterday’s decision and the full record,” he said.

Bamu further indicated that although under the law the state can hand over defense materials two days before the trial, the preparation period was short.

He said his clients were eager to prove their innocence.

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Bamu told the court he hopes the state will give him the papers and video that will be used in the trial.

“We ask the State to commit in writing when it can give us the copy of the video to be used during the trial for the right to a fair trial,” he pleaded.

The state has in the past promised to give them the papers but has not done so.

Bamu accused the state of delaying proceedings on the grounds that the video in question was still being analyzed.

“The state indicated at the start of the case that it submitted the video for forensic analysis and took them a long time. It is only fair that the defendant receives the video so that he can submit it for to analyse.

“Except that the analysis cannot be done just two days before the trial, so the accused must be notified before the trial,” he argued.

State represented by Attorney Lancelot Mutsokoti unrepentantly hinted that they would hand over the defense papers but if they failed they were well within their rights.

“The state will try to provide them with the documents and the video and if they can’t, it’s still allowed by law,” Mutsokoti said.

The two are charged with incitement to public violence following the death of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali.