The MDC Alliance deputy chairman Job Sikhala has been given temporary relief after being granted bail pending his trial.The legislator is being charged with treason. Sikhala had been refused bail at the Bikita magistrates court and advised to apply at the high court. He was subsequently granted bail by Justice Wamambo.
Sikhala is being charged with treason after uttering words that his party would overthrow the current president by 2023. He said this statement whilst he was addressing supporters at a rally in Bikita. This landed him in trouble with the authorities and he was immediately arrested and charged. The Zengeza legislator is set to defend himself at trial.
As part of his bail conditions Sikhala was ordered to surrender his passport, to pay bail deposit amounting to ZW 5 000. The state had initially applied to have him deposit ZW 50 000 but this was denied. The state had also requested that the legislator be ordered not to address political rallies but this was also rejected.
The MDC Alliance had issued a statement soon after his arrest and alleged that the statements uttered by the deputy chairman were his own personal views that might have been misconstrued. It remains to be seen after his trial whether he will be found guilty or not since the law requires everyone charged to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.