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Police fire tear gas as Job Sikhala found not guilty of treason

The High Court in Masvingo on Friday halted proceedings after police fired teargas outside to disperse supporters of opposition MDC senior politician Job Sikhala who was facing subversion charges.

The court was making a ruling on a request by MDC legislator Job Sikhala to drop the charges, which carry up to 20 years prison term upon conviction.

MDC vice president Tendai Biti and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who were present in court, said the judge in the case was forced to adjourn proceedings after teargas started filtering into the court room in Masvingo.

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

In a post on Twitter, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said: “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.”

Sikhala appeared at the same court on February 3 when the judge postponed the trial to February to give the court ample time to make a judgement on the defence’s application for an exception.

This followed the Zengeza West legislator’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa’s application for exception arguing that according to the constitution the accused’s utterances did not constitute a crime.

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