From George Maponga in Masvingo
MDC vice chair, Job Sikhala, yesterday appeared before a Bikita Magistrate’s Court on subversion charges after he allegedly said his party was going to overthrow the Government before 2023.
Sikhala, who is also the Zengeza West National Assembly representative, was remanded in custody to July 24 when he appeared before Ms Marewanazvo Gofa, for initial remand. Through his lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama, Sikhala had made an application to be released from custody arguing that police detained him beyond the stipulated legal limit.
Sikhala was allowed to testify before Ms Gofa to back his application for refusal of further remand following a request by his lawyer over alleged ill-treatment on top of being over-detained. The legislator alleged he was blindfolded while being transported to Bikita from Harare for his initial court appearance.
Police, alleged Sikhala, only uncovered his face after he complained of having difficulties in breathing.
He also alleged that he was denied food, access to legal representation and his family following his arrest.
Sikhala also said he was denied access to medication despite suffering from asthma and hypertension adding that his liberty was taken away from him the moment he handed himself to the police.
Sikhala’s lawyer also argued that the State or the police should have applied to extend his detention as per the law.
However, Ms Gofa threw out the application.
Sikhala’s defence team indicated their intention to approach the High Court for bail.
Allegations against the MDC senior official stemmed from a rally he addressed in Bikita East last weekend when he said his party would overthrow the Government before 2023. “We are a committed leadership that will give Zanu-PF headaches and (Amos) Chibaya was not lying or joking about the war and fight we are going to take to the doorstep of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023, that is not a joke,” he allegedly said.