SIKHALA ACQUITTED newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

SIKHALA ACQUITTED newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

Former CCC activist Job Sikhala was yesterday He was acquitted of charges of inciting people to violence during demonstrations in July 2020.

Cicala was charged with incitement to commit public acts of violence as defined in Article 187(1)(a) as read with Article 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Sikhala incited people to participate in public demonstrations that would cause public violence and a breach of the peace on July 31, 2020, by publishing videos containing inflammatory messages.

Harare Magistrate, Ms Fungai Gworero, found that the prosecution was unable to prove that Sikala posted a video on social media inciting CCC supporters to engage in violence and therefore it was not admissible as evidence in court.

Police officers testified at the trial that Sikhala uploaded a video to ZimLive and YouTube urging people to protest.

Sikhala said in his defense that there was no record of this video and it only appeared during his trial. He stressed that the state failed to prove the authenticity of the video. In her ruling, Ms Guerrero said, from the evidence, it was clear that none of the witnesses had any evidence to prove that Cicala had posted the video, or could confirm whether the videos were in their original form although she had no doubt that the witnesses had protected the video after uploading. .

“The suggestion that the accused is one of the authors of the communication is mere conjecture. It is the state’s responsibility to prove that the conditions for admissibility are met beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no burden on the accused,” she added.

The judge then ruled that the state had failed to discharge that burden.

Ms. Guerrero noted that the state could have called in audio experts to verify the authenticity of Cicala’s voice and contact the person who uploaded the videos.

“The state wrongly places the burden on the accused. The story required an audio expert to link the accused to the recordings,” he declares

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