HARARE – Opposition politician Job Sikhala Tuesday breathed a sigh of relief after a Harare magistrate found him not guilty in a matter in which he had been accused of inciting public violence back in 2020.

The former legislator and CCC politician was accused of posting a video on social media encouraging Zimbabweans to take to the streets and protest over the dire state of the economy and massive corruption under the current Zanu PF led government.

The protests were later foiled by the state which deployed police heavily on the streets and also forced organisers to go into hiding amid persecution.

In the court’s verdict, Harare magistrate Vongai Guuriro Muchuchuti said the state failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“From the evidence adduced, it is clear that all the witnesses did not have any evidence to show that the accused posted the video.

“No witness was able to confirm if the videos were in their original form,” she said before passing a not guilty verdict against the trial weary politician.

Following his acquittal, Harrison Nkomo, lawyer for Sikhala, said his client was going to sue for damages at the High Court.

“We really need to address the injustices that have been perpetrated on Job Sikhala. He was in custody for one year and eight months.

“Amongst the other charges, on this particular charge they kept him in custody for over a year and he gets acquitted today.

“Obviously justice has to be served. The civil courts of this country have to intervene.

“Naturally, we shall take the state and the police who perpetrated this heinous crime on him to the High Court for the appropriate order of damages,” Nkomo said.

Sikhala, who has been in and out of the courts facing different charges related to his aggressive political style, no longer has a criminal case pending.

The politician was recently acquitted of another case of disorderly conduct by a Harare magistrate.

He however has two convictions which he has since appealed against at the High court.

The appeals are yet to be heard.

The acquittal brings to an end his criminal cases that have been pending before the magistrates’ court.