State Media – CCC legislator Job Sikhala yesterday lost his latest bail bid after the court dismissed his application saying he was not a proper candidate to be released on bond because of his previous conduct including disregarding bail conditions imposed by the High Court on another charge.
Sikhala is accused of posting a video on social media where he made utterances likely to hinder police investigations into the killing of Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime.
In a ruling read on his behalf by regional magistrate Mrs Feresi Chakanyuka, regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje noted that Sikhala disregarded the bail condition set by the High Court. Sikhala’s lawyers led by Ms Beatrice Mtetwa did not dispute that there was an existing order which barred Sikhala from addressing public gatherings and uttering words that are likely to incite the public to commit violence.
The High Court order also barred Sikhala from posting videos on social media sites that are likely to incite public violence.
“The court is convinced that there is a similar case against accused. He was granted bail by High Court and it is common cause that he was arrested on allegations of inciting public violence,” the magistrate said.
That bail order remained extant.
Mr Mambanje said the earlier and separate charge Sikhala is facing is related to the current charge he is charged with.
Sikhala had applied for bail saying he never posted the alleged videos on social media and also doubted the existence of these videos. He argued that in the absence of the videos, the State’s case was weak.
Mr Tafara Chirambira, prosecuting, had opposed the granting of bail to Sikhala saying he was likely to re-offend since he once breached a bail condition set by the High Court, which barred him from sending such videos.
He argued that the court was supposed to look into such conduct before granting Sikhala bail. “The court is allowed to deny bail where the accused has propensity to commit more offences,” Mr Chirambira said.
The State also led evidence from Detective Hardwork Muziti who told the court that Sikhala was likely to evade trial once granted bail.
He said Sikhala was also likely to interfere with investigations since police were yet to record statements from two witnesses and investigators were yet to receive a report from the police Cybercrime Unit.
The State opposed to granting of his bail after it had successfully placed him on remand when Mr Mambanje ruled that the State placed before the court all requisites to place him on remand in its application.
In its application, The State said that there was reasonable suspicion that Sikhala committed the offence and that the charges were recognisable at law.
Sikhala had challenged placement on remand arguing that there was an unnecessary splitting of charges as he was on remand on similar charges stemming from the same incident.
Sikhala is expected back in court on August 10 for his routine remand.- State Media