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Sikhala faces another jail term

Sikhala faces another jail term

…found guilty of communicating falsehoods


Opposition leader Job Sikhala is facing another jail term after he has been found guilty of publishing falsehoods harmful to the State.

Sikhala, who was released last week, is facing his second conviction in two weeks.

Former CCC MP for Zengeza West, who spent close to 600 days in solitary confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Prison following his arrest in June 2022, was today charged for communicated falsehoods by posting on his social media that a police officer had struck a baby dead with a baton stick while enforcing road regulations.

Harare regional magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka ruled that the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that Sikhala communicated falsehoods..

“The Facebook page contains the accused’s name and face.The utterances align with the accused’s political rhetoric.

“The State laid out a prima facie case which required the accused to respond.

“However the accused only opted to invoke his right to silence. The court is convinced that the evidence before the court points to one thing, the Facebook page belongs to the accused,” Chakanyuka ruled.

She said according to the country’s laws, the State has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and it does not have to close every avenue of doubt.

“Therefore the accused published the prejudicial statement which was meant to undermine the authority of the ZRP.Therefore the accused is found guilty of communicating falsehoods,” Chakanyuka pronounced.

The accused will be back in court on February 16 for sentencing.

The court heard that in 2021, a police officer had smashed the baby, strapped on its mother’s back, with a baton stick and the incident went viral and caused an uproar on social media.

It was discovered that the child was alive and this led to Sikhala and Fadzayi Mahere’s arrest.

In April 2023 Mahere was convicted and fined US$500 for publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State.

Magistrate Chakanyuka is expected to hand down the sentence soon following the court’s judgement today.

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