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Harare Magistrates Court: The Centre of Selective Application Of The Law?

Harare Magistrates Court: The Centre of Selective Application Of The Law?

The Harare Magistrates Court, just like any other government premises, is a hive of activity.

People from all walks of life visit the place for different reasons —some are complainants, some are accused, and others are relatives of both. 

The big billboard inside the premises says justice should always prevail, and more importantly, so does the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

A few minutes after 8 am on a Monday morning things change rapidly.

Journalists, as well as alert police officers, rushed to an accused person —the former with cameras and the latter with button sticks. 

The accused, handcuffed and under very tight security, is Zengeza West Member of Parliament Job Sikhala, who is being accused of inciting public violence.

Sikhala has been in jail for over 6 months and denied bail countless times.

The outspoken MP, when it comes to proceedings at the Harare Magistrates Court, is put in the same bracket as triple murder suspect Jaison Muvhevhi. Both are treated as dangerous criminals.

Muvhevi, whose story still shocks Zimbabweans, also arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court 20 minutes after Sikhala.

When the two are taken inside, everything returns to normal. It’s now suspects caught with drugs and illegal substances arriving one after the other. 

Job Sikhala’s son, 23-year-old Job Junior, is seen arriving with his siblings, gloomy-faced and holding a plastic bag containing popular fast food Chicken Inn, possibly for their father, who is reportedly not eating food in prison, fearing being poisoned.

Just before midday, Sikhala’s Gokwe-Nembudziya counterpart Justice Mayor Wadyajena (ZANU PF), arrives.

Wadyajena is also an accused. He allegedly laundered money, US$ 5 million to be precise.

Like Sikhala, Wadyajena is also under the police’s watchful eye, the only difference is the law enforcement agents are not monitoring the ZANU PF legislator, they are star-struck by him.

He is clad in a slick blue suit, blue shirt, pink necktie and black shoes. 

“Honourable,” one of the police officers even shouts excitedly, to which Wadyajena waves.

Three hours later, Wadyajena is acquitted, and driven away in a Toyota Fortuner.

During that same time, Sikhala is taken back to jail again, to the dismay of his family and close friends, who had attended court in solidarity with the lawmaker.  

Norton MP, Temba Mliswa, instantly reacts to Wadyajena’s acquittal and Sikhala’s continued detention saying jail was “now for the poor and opposition politicians only.”

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