Job Sikhala, a prominent member of the CCC, and his associate, former Chitungwiza North Member of Parliament Godfrey Sithole, are set to receive their sentencing today for inciting public violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza back in 2022 following the tragic murder of Ms. Moreblessing Ali by her former partner.
The State presented evidence in aggravation yesterday, while the defense provided their mitigation arguments.
State prosecutor Mr. Ephraim Zinyandu presented the case, emphasizing the impact of the offense, including public violence resulting in property destruction and heightened insecurity among citizens. He also highlighted the strain on police resources and the potential deterrent effect on investors due to such violence.
While acknowledging Sikhala’s lengthy pre-trial detention, the State underscored the need to consider the societal impact of the offense, particularly on those who lost property.
In mitigation, Sikhala’s defense team, led by Mr. Jeremiah Bamu and Mr. Harrison Nkomo, proposed either a wholly suspended prison term or a fine, citing Sikhala’s familial responsibilities and the loss of opportunities during his incarceration. They argued that there was no aggravation and stressed Sikhala’s role as a family provider and former legislator.
Mr. Oliver Marwa, representing Sithole, urged the court to consider the impact of imprisonment on Sithole’s 50 children, for whom he provides school fees through a trust.
The agreed facts of the case include Sikhala’s social media video encouraging CCC supporters to retaliate against Ali’s death and the organization of transportation for supporters to Nyatsime. The violence resulted in 20 families becoming homeless, and significant damage to shops, tuck-shops, and vehicles as CCC supporters attacked Nyatsime residents indiscriminately.