CCC politician Job Sikhala’s conviction quashed by High Court on appeal
In a significant turn of events, opposition politician Job Sikhala had his conviction and sentence on charges of obstructing the course of justice overturned by the High Court on appeal. However, Sikhala will remain in detention as he faces two other pending cases.
High Court judges of appeal, Justices Pisirayi Kwenda and Benjamin Chikowero, ruled in favor of Sikhala, overturning the lower court’s decision that had found him guilty in May of this year.
“The appeal is allowed. The conviction is quashed and set aside. The accused is found not guilty and acquitted,” Justice Kwenda declared.
Sikhala had been convicted of obstructing the course of justice based on allegations that he accused the ruling party, Zanu PF, of involvement in the murder of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali.
The former Zengeza West legislator was arrested for obstruction of justice in June 2022 and was convicted nearly a year later. He had received a suspended six-month sentence with the option of a US$600 fine.
Sikhala’s pretrial detention has drawn criticism from human rights watchdogs, who call on the government to uphold the Constitution, which guarantees every Zimbabwean the right to a fair trial.
Despite the quashing of his conviction and suspended sentence, Sikhala will remain in prison as he awaits trial for two other charges: incitement to commit violence and disorderly conduct. He has been denied bail on multiple occasions.