ZIMBABWEAN police on Friday 21 August 2020 arrested and charged Zengeza West constituency legislator Hon. Job Sikhala for allegedly inciting people to commit public violence through participating in last month’s protest, which was aimed at registering concern over mismanagement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Sikhala was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members in
Harare, who charged him with incitement to commit public violence as
defined in section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
ZRP officers also pressed an alternative charge against Hon. Sikhala
of incitement to commit public violence as defined in section
187(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read
with section 36(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act or alternatively incitement to participate in a gathering with
intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as
defined in section 187(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act as read with section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.
ZRP officers alleged that the Zengeza West constituency legislator
incited people between May 2020 and 20 July 2020 to participate in
public demonstrations that would cause public violence and breach of
peace among people in Zimbabwe on 31 July 2020 by posting video clips
with inciting messages.
ZRP members said some of the inciting messages allegedly shared by
Hon. Sikhala reads; “People of Zimbabwe l am here with my brother
Jacob Ngarivhume, he is representing the citizens of Zimbabwe in the
current situation in our country. I would like to tell everybody from
Zimbabwe to Limpopo, from Forbes boarder to Victoria Falls that on the
31st of July 2020 it is your day to speak out. We have all agreed that
we cannot accept corruption in our country. We are in total support of
the actions that have been called on the 31st of July 2020. I am in
arms with my brother here and we are going to make sure that on the
31st of July 2020 people of Zimbabwe will speak out”.
Hon. Sikhala is also alleged to have circulated a video clip in which
he showed gratitude to some people for bringing him food and urging
people both in Zimbabwe and outside the country to participate in the
demonstration which was scheduled for 31 July 2020, which ZRP members
suppressed and arrested several people who staged protests across the
country last month.
Hon. Sikhala, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Advocate Eric
Matinenga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, is expected to appear
at Harare Magistrates Court on Saturday 22 August 2020.