HARARE – The High Court in Harare overturned the obstruction of justice conviction against former Zengeza West MP, Job Sikhala, on Monday, providing a glimmer of legal relief for the opposition politician.
Sikhala had been convicted in May by Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa for obstructing the course of justice in connection to a video he posted online.
The video attributed the killing of Citizens Coalition for Change activist Moreblessing Ali to Zanu PF supporters, an accusation that prosecutors argued was an attempt to mislead the police.
Justices Pisirayi Kwenda and Benjamin Chikowero, presiding over the appeal, quashed Sikhala’s conviction, leading to the suspension of his six-month sentence and a US$600 fine.
Justice Kwenda, while delivering a brief ruling, stated, “The appeal is allowed. The conviction is quashed and set aside. The accused is found not guilty and acquitted.”
Job Sikhala remains ‘unshaken’
Sikhala, who arrived at the court in a prison truck in leg irons, expressed high spirits upon entering the packed courtroom.
He embraced friends and family, consoling a tearful man, whom he referred to as “my son,” and reassuring him that he was okay.
Sikhala has spent 536 days in jail.
“You don’t have to cry. I’m okay, my son; you have to be strong,” Sikhala said while assisting the emotional man in wiping away tears.
Despite this legal victory, Sikhala remains incarcerated on unrelated charges.
The former lawmaker faces three other cases, including publishing falsehoods and two charges of incitement to commit public violence stemming from separate events.
One of the incidents involves the murder of Moreblessing Ali by a Zanu PF supporter, Pius Jamba, who is awaiting trial verdict on December 4.
Sikhala, a lawyer who represented Ali’s family, has been labeled a political prisoner by his supporters, who demand his unconditional release.