Sikhala, who has been held in a maximum security prison since June 2022, argued that the state’s case against him was weak and should be dismissed.
However, Gofa disagreed, stating that there was “overwhelming” evidence against him. Sikhala’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo has confirmed that they will appeal the decision.
Sikhala is a member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), and was arrested along with several other activists.
Although some have since been freed, Sikhala has been held for 275 days and has unsuccessfully applied for release on bail 15 times.
The charges against him are based on a video in which he allegedly demanded justice for the murder of another opposition activist Moreblessing Ali, whose mutilated body was found in a well.
Sikhala has a long history of political activism and has been arrested 67 times, but never convicted, according to one of his lawyers.
If he is convicted, he will be unable to contest upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, which are yet to be scheduled but are expected to take place in early August.
Rights groups and opposition parties have raised concerns about an escalating clampdown ahead of the vote, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces significant challenges in tackling entrenched poverty, power cuts, and inflation.
Sikhala is expected to mount his defence when he returns to court on Tuesday.