Zimbabwe opposition official acquitted of treason charges

Harare-MDC national vice-chairperson Job Sikhala has been acquitted of treason charges by Masvingo High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze.

Sikhala appeared before Justice Mawadze facing allegations of plotting to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) through a tweet.

“Freedom for Job. Masvingo High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze rules that Zengeza West MP Hon. Job Sikhala represented by @ZLHRLawyers is not guilty and acquitted of charges of plotting to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa” posted ZLHR

In a statement, MDC secretary for Justice and legal affairs, Innocent Gonese said the judgment vindicates them.

“The MDC is vindicated by the upholding of The Exception filed by Lead Counsel Beatrice Mtetwa to the scandalous charge of Subverting a Constitutional Government preferred against Honourable Job Sikhala by the illegitimate government of Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“The consequences of the Ruling are that since Honourable Sikhala had pleaded not guilty to the charge he was entitled to a verdict and accordingly The Court so found” said Gonese

He added “Put simply this was a charge that never was and in legal parlance you cannot find something from nothing and the words that formed the basis of the charge do not constitute an offence, notwithstanding whether they are admitted or not.

“The persecution of Honourable Sikhala has thankfully come to an end but we lament the fact that countless citizens of Zimbabwe are facing baseless allegations in spite of the pretence that we are in a new dispensation.

“The deception must be exposed for what it is and it is regrettable that the Prosecutor General s Office made a spirited attempt to defend the indefensible” he said

Gonese said as the MDC they are calling for the withdrawal of charges against civic society leaders and other political leaders.

“As the MDC, we now call upon the illegitimate regime to withdraw the numerous allegations of treason and Subverting a Constitutional Government which have been preferred against our leaders such as Secretary General Honourable Charlton Hwende and trade unionists Peter Mutasa and Obert Masaraure as well as numerous civil society and political leaders” he said

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