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CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Job Sikhala was yesterday denied bail again, with a Harare magistrate claiming the politician has shown wanton disregard of previous court orders.
Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhiti ruled that Sikhala should remain behind bars even after his co-accused, fellow MP Godfrey Sithole and the Nyatsime 14, were granted bail.
Sikhala filed an application for bail through Advocate Thabani Mpofu citing changed circumstances.
Mpofu argued that Nyatsime, the scene of the violence that caused their arrest, was now calm and that his co-accused had been granted bail.
He said fears of Sikhala absconding were very slim.
He also submitted that the bail conditions he is alleged to have violated were in relation to another case.
Mhiti said Nyatsime was calm because Sikhala was in prison.
The magistrate said Sikhala’s co-accused were granted bail because the court viewed their cases differently based on their circumstances.
“Equality is fundamental in the tenets of law and certain persons may be likely to abscond or more close to the offence that’s warranting dismissal of bail. Equal treatment does not likely warrant the release of both accused persons, but a court can enquire if the appellant can be granted bail,” Mhiti ruled.
Mhiti said there were previous submissions to the effect that Sikhala was unrepentant having been arrested 63 times.
She said in all the 63 cases, Sikhala had been granted bail.
“It will be irresponsible for a judicial officer to grant bail to someone who had shown that he disrespects court orders,” she ruled
Mhiti said Advocate Mpofu did not submit evidence refuting fears that Sikhala had a propensity to commit crime.
Sikhala was remanded to today for the resumption of trial. He is accused of inciting the public to commit public violence over the murder of opposition activist Moreblessing Ali.
He faces a separate charge of obstructing the course of justice.
Source – Newsday Zimbabwe