Home » Judicial » Jabulani Sibanda Out On Bail

OUSTED war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda, who is accused of insulting the President, was yesterday granted $400 bail and had his case referred to the Constitutional Court.

Sibanda (56) of number 6337 Nkulumane, Bulawayo, appeared before provincial magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe on allegations of insulting the President at an unsanctioned gathering in Mutare recently. He was not formally charged for contravening section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23. In his bail ruling, Mr Chikwekwe said although the investigating officer Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, indicated that a ZBC clip of the alleged offence was tampered with, he failed to tell the court the influence and powers the accused had.

“The accused would definitely not know which witnesses State would call unless he has prophetic wisdom.

“One month has passed without the accused putting his alleged threats into action, it is not likely that he will interfere with the ongoing Zanu-PF congress,” he said. Mr Chikwekwe granted Sibanda bail and ordered him to surrender his passport, report every Friday at Law and Order Bulawayo, reside at the given address and not to interfere with witnesses.

Furthermore, Mr Chikwekwe referred the matter to the Concourt.

“We need guidance from a superior court so there is no reason not to refer the matter to Concourt. The application is not frivolous and vexatious,” he said.

The state, represented by the area prosecutor Mr Jonathan Murombedzi and Mr Oliver Marwa, had opposed granting Sibanda bail on condition he would interfere with witnesses and the ongoing Zanu-PF congress. Mr Murombedzi proceeded to call Chief Supt Mukazhi to substantiate his refusal of bail. “Information at hand indicates that the accused indirectly interfered with the clip,” he said.

However, Sibanda’s lawyer, former Attorney-General Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, insisted that the charge was ultra-vires Sibanda’s constitutional right to freedom of thought, opinion, religion, belief among others. “People are entitled to their opinions, public institutions will do better if they are criticised. The accused is a father of seven and wants to be at his farm since it is cropping season,” he said.

It is alleged that on October 27 this year at Herbert Mine in Mutasa, Sibanda addressed an illegal gathering of war veterans at the mine shaft.

The gathering was for the reburial of exhumed liberation war fighters’ bodies despite the reburial being rescheduled to a later date by the Minister of Home Affairs Cde Kembo Mohadi.

Sibanda allegedly delivered a lengthy speech and said the President and his wife were plotting a bedroom coup to remove Vice President Joice Mujuru and replace her with the President’s wife Dr Grace Mugabe.

He added that he was not prepared for that and that power was not sexually transmitted.

Source : The Herald