Renowned political commentator Doctor Pedzisai Ruhanya has lambasted the Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana on twitter for spreading the news ‘a lie’ that the courts have ruled that Job Sikhala be transferred to stand trial in Bikita.
This follows a statement by the ministry of information noting that Sikhala have been transferred to Bikita ‘the crime scene’ for trial. But Ruhanya believes the move lacks logic, as suspect can only be taken to a crime scene as part of investigations and not trial.
Another political analyst Elder Mabhunu agrees that he has never witnessed an instance in which a court ruled that a suspect be tried at the crime scene.
Ruhanya challenged Mangwana to tell the nation which judge or magistrate gave the directive to the effect that Sikhala should be taken to stand trial in Bikita, and further asked who appeared for Sikhala and the State, in the purported hearing in which the court is said to have directed his transfer to Bikita.
“Which court directed that Sikhala be taken to Bikita?
“Do not spread lies Perm Sec, unless he appeared in some kangaroo court that his lawyers do you know.
“Taking a suspect to the crime scene is investigation not trial of an accused person,” says Dr Ruhanya.
“Makambozviona kupi kuti munhu anotongerwa pa shop paanenge achinzi aba? Kana kutongerwa kumba kwemunhu waanenge achinzi abata chibharo?(Where on earth have you ever seen a court directing that a suspect be tried at the shop where he is alleged to have stolen from. Or tried at the house of the person he is alleged to have raped?”
Mabhunu adds that it is his belief that the State in playing hide and seek a game by transferring Sikhala to Bikita, a move he believes is aimed at frustrating the accused and his defence team.
The statement by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services came in response to social media outcry after the police had failed to transport Sikhala to the Harare Magistrates courts where he was expected to be tried. The state security apparatus had nichodimously transferred him to Bikita without the knowledge of his lawyers, who were waiting for him at the Harare Magistrates courts. Upon noticing that he was nowhere to be seen, scores of Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance supporters began protesting at the courts parameters, raising speculations that he has been made to disappear (gone missing).
The speculations pushed the ministry to confess their dirty tactic; “Hon Sikhala is being transported by the police to Bikita where the alleged crime was committed,” said the ministry.
The ministry went on to say the courts have directed that Sikhala’s case should be tried in Bikita where he allegedly committed the offence, but Ruhanya believes this is a only but a lie, unless if it was a kangaroo court.
Addressing a rally in Bikita over the weekend, Sikhala is reported to have said his party would overthrow the Mnangagwa led government before 2023. And he is facing a treason charge for contravening Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) for wanting to overthrow a democratically elected government.