Sikhala charged with plotting to overthrow Govt as Mahiya, Mutasa and Mawarire’s trials fail to commence

By Court Reporter

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Tuesday 9 July 2019 detained
and charged Hon. Job Sikhala, one of the top leaders of the opposition
MDC party, with plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s
government.
ZRP officers charged Hon. Sikhala, the MDC National Vice-Chairperson
with subverting constitutional government as defined in section
22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The law enforcement agents alleged that Hon. Sikhala, who was
represented by Obey Shava and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights (ZLHR) advocated for the overthrowing of government
through unconstitutional means during his address to some MDC party
supporters at a political rally held on Saturday 6 July 2019 at
Mandadzaka Primary School in Bikita in Masvingo province.
Hon. Sikhala, who is the MDC legislator for Zengeza West constituency,
is expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday 10 July
2019.
Hon. Sikhala becomes the latest person since January 2019 to be
targeted for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Mnangagwa’s
government after Zimbabwean authorities arrested and charged 20 people
including opposition legislators, trade unionists and human rights
activists with subverting constitutional government following
anti-government protests held early this year. Some of the activists,
who were arrested in May, were accused of attending and participating
in a meeting held in Maldives with the intention to engage in civil
disobedience.
Meanwhile, three human rights campaigners namely Rashid Mahiya, the
chairperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, This Generation Church
leader Pastor Evan Mawarire and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
President Peter Mutasa, who are all charged with subverting
constitutional government, appeared before Harare Magistrate Barbra
Mateko, where their trials could not commence.
Pastor Mawarire, Mahiya and Mutasa, who are represented by Alec
Muchadehama and Tonderai Bhatasara of ZLHR, were remanded out of
custody to Tuesday 20 August 2019.