Sikhala trial: Third witness testifies
THE third witness in the trial of Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala (CCC), Detective Assistant Inspector Hardwick Maziti was yesterday grilled by defence lawyers Harrison Nkomo and Jeremiah Bhamu over the authenticity of the video that forms the central plank of the State’s evidence against the legislator.
Sikhala is accused of inciting public violence, and obstructing the course of justice in Nyatsime after the brutal murder of Citizens Coalition for Change activist Moreblessing Ali.
Asked by Sikhala’s lawyers to explain when Ali was last seen, Maziti said it was on May 24, 2022.
Nkomo further asked him to state where he got the evidence that Ali’s alleged murderer, Pius Mukandi, alias Jamba was not a member of the ruling Zanu PF party and that he acted alone in killing Ali.
Maziti responded that it was from his investigations.
The defence lawyers pointed out a contradictory issue, whereby Maziti said Sikhala posted the video on June 14, when Ali was killed on June 11. The lawyers said Sikhala could not have recorded the video while already in police custody. Maziti said Sikhala could have recorded the video before his arrest.
“Why didn’t you call Mduduzi Mathuthu (ZimLive editor) to check the authenticity of the video posted on his website?” Nkomo further asked Maziti.
Bhamu also asked the police detective to explain whether he analysed the video to find out if it really originated from Sikhala.
“I did not analyse the video as it was set to be analysed by the experts,” he said.
Bhamu said it was unfair for him to want the courts to make a judgment on Sikhala based on a video that has not been analysed.
The defence is set to file an application for Sikhala’s discharge by March 13, with the ruling expected on March 16.