The High Court will on Tuesday hand down a verdict on an appeal filed by former Zengeza West constituency legislator and lawyer Job Sikhala, who is challenging his conviction and sentence for allegedly obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
Sikhala was convicted on 3 May 2023 by Harare Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, who presided over his trial on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(e) of the Criminal Code. The former legislator for the opposition.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) political party, was hauled out of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on Tuesday 12 July 2022 & taken to Harare Central Police Station, where he was charged him with obstructing or defeating the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During trial at Harare Magistrates Court, prosecutors alleged that at an unknown date but during the period extending from 25 May 2022 and 16 June 2022 in Chitungwiza & Nyatsime, the former Zengeza West legislator recorded & circulated a video clip wherein he intended to mislead police officers probing the murder of Moreblessing Ali, an opposition CCC political party supporter, who was murdered in Nyatsime area in Beatrice in May 2022.
Prosecutors claimed that Hon. Sikhala blamed some ruling ZANU PF political party supporters for kidnapping and murdering Ali. On 3 May 2023, Magistrate Gofa convicted & sentenced Sikhala to pay a fine of US$600, failure of which, he would serve six months in prison.
Through his lawyers Sikhala then filed an appeal at the High Court seeking to set aside both his conviction & sentence & argued that Magistrate Gofa erred and misdirected herself when she handed down the verdict on the former opposition political party legislator, who has spent more than one year detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
On Wednesday 22 November 2023, High Court Judges, Justice Benjamin Chikowero and Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, who presided over the hearing and determination of Sikhala’s appeal, indicated that they would hand down their judgment on Tuesday 28 November.