Vice chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Job Sikhala, has appeared before a Masvingo district magistrate facing charges of subversion.
Sikhala, who was arrested Tuesday following allegations of contravening Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), was remanded in custody to July 24th.
Lead counsel Aleck Mucadahama and his team, which includes Harrison Nkomo, Douglas Mwonzora, Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed a bail application at the High Court in Masvingo seeking bail for the MDC lawmaker.
A message posted on the Facebook page of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights read in part, “At Masvingo High Court, ZLHR lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko have filed an application seeking the release of Zengeza West MP Hon. Job Sikhala on bail after he was remanded in custody at Bikita Magistrates Court by Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.”.
Sikhala told the court that he was blindfolded, handcuffed and bungled into a motor vehicle on Thursday and driven from Harare to Bikita.
He claimed that he was denied food and high blood pressure medicine for two days before he appeared in court Thursday.
Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa remanded SIkhala in custody and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.
The state claims that Sikhala told people in Bikita recently that his party will overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the 2023 general elections.
Meanwhile, MDC Youth Assembly leader Ostallos Siziba, who is facing similar charges, was granted 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars by a Harare magistrate on Thursday.
He allegedly made subversive statements while addressing members of his party recently in Glen View.
In a statement, his lawyers said, “In Harare, ZLHR lawyers have secured the release on $1 000 bail of MDC Youth Assembly Secretary-General Gift Ostallos Siziba charged with incitement to commit public violence. Magistrate Elijah Makomo ordered Ostallos to report three times per week at Harare Central Police Station. Ostallos returns to court on 24 July 2019.”
Former president Robert Mugabe's government once made similar allegations against the late Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo, the late Ndabaningi Sithole of Zanu (Ndonga), the late MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders.