Political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya has lambasted Magistrate Tafadzwa Miti for calling Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy chairperson Job Sikhala who has never been convicted an unrepentant criminal.
Sikhala was denied bail yesterday by Magistrate Miti alleging that the number of his arrests shows that he is an unrepentant and incorrigible criminal, despite the fact that he has never been convicted.
“Don’t tell me that Harare Magistrate Court does not know on the basis of court records before it that Job Sikhala has no record of previous conviction.
“Which court in Zimbabwe convicted
Job Sikhala for the Magistrate’s Court to say he is an “incorrigible and unrepentant criminal,” when it denied Sikhala bail? Where is the record of Wiwa’s conviction? I dont understand this statement by the court. Is this about law?????
“So where did Magistrate Miti got this idea that he is an “incorrigible and unrepentant criminal.” When was Job convicted!!,” He questioned.
Ruhanya’s sentiments comes after Magistrate Miti denied Sikhala bail yesterday, calling him an unrepentant and incorrigible criminal.
Ruhanya says in competitive authoritarian regimes such as Zimbabwe, the courts are not a viable avenue for democratic contestation because they are controlled by the system adding that going to courts in most cases is to legitimize authoritarian rule, give them a veneer of rule of law.
Sikhala was arrested for allegedly inciting public violence during slain More blessing Ali’s memorial service.
However, Sikhala’s detention and bail denial by the courts have been viewed as political persecution.