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Zimbabwe Opposition and ex MP is Finally a Free Man after a Record 595 Days on Pre-trial Remand

A Harare magistrate has sentenced Jo Sikhala and his co-accused, MP Godfrey Sithole, to a two-year, wholly suspended term for five years. Sithole was granted bail after five months on remand. They were both convicted of inciting public violence. He was arrested in June 2022 and charged with encouraging the violence that followed the discovery of the dismembered body of Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali in a well, three weeks after she went missing. The news triggered violence in Ali’s Chitungwiza neighborhood, some 30km (19 miles) south of Harare, the capital. Sikhala, who was the Ali family lawyer, was accused of having used social media to encourage the violence. He denied the charge.