Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Zengeza West lawmaker Job Sikhala has been slapped with a US$600 fine or six months in jail if he fails to pay the fine by Friday.
In passing sentence, Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa said she considered that he has already been punished after spending the past 11 months behind bars, so imprisoning him would be too harsh.
This follows his conviction for attempting to obstruct the course of justice after a full trial at Harare Magistrates court.
Sikhala who has been languishing at Chikurubi Maximum prison for the past 323 days had not been convicted of any charge the 67 times he has appeared before the courts facing various charges since the Robert Mugabe administration.
However, his luck ran out Wednesday after he was convicted for posting a video on social media platforms claiming that slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali whose body was found heavily mutilated in Chitungwiza’s Nyatsime area had been murdered by ZANU PF supporters.
In so doing, Gofa said there was overwhelming evidence from testifying witnesses that his utterances in the video misled police investigators to follow new leads, which was tantamount to obstructing the course of justice.
CCC national spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere described the conviction as “an unconstitutional weaponisation of the law against government critics”.
She said Sikhala is being punished for legally representing Moreblessing Ali who was murdered for her politics.