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Harare Regional Magistrate Ngoni Nduna

Sikhala wins magistrate recusal battle but prison war rages on

HARARE – Another magistrate will preside over the case of Citizens Coalition for Change Member of Parliament for Zengeza West Job Sikhala after the presiding magistrate recused himself on Monday.

Sikhala through lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Jeremiah Bamu applied for the recusal of Nduna from presiding over the matter.

He argued that Nduna would be biased because he once denied him bail in a case he is accused of communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State after he allegedly falsely posted on his Facebook page that a police officer had beaten to death a child with a baton in Harare.

The lawyers said although the magistrate then said Sikhala had alleged the police used a baton to kill a child, this was not what was on the remand form submitted by the State in that remand hearing.

Bamu said the State had deliberately placed Sikhala in an anti-corruption court despite other people arrested over a similar incident were appearing in an ordinary court and despite that charge having nothing to do with corruption.

Nduna on Monday conceded that it could defeat the course of justice if he continued to preside over the case.

Sikhala is charged with allegedly telling mourners at Moreblessing Ali’s funeral in Nyatsime that she was kidnapped and murdered by Zanu PF supporters.

Sikhala will now appear before a new magistrate charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

He is set to be formally further remanded.