MDC vice National Chairperson and Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala was today acquitted of treason charges leveled against him late last year.
Sikhala was accused of trying to topple a constitutionally elected president in 2019.
The Masvingo born lawyer was arrested for his speech at a rally in Ward 31 Bikita last year.
He was reported to have said he will violently remove the President Emmerson Mnangagwa from power.
In announcing the judgment, Masvingo High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze said there was no evidence to warrant his arrest.
Justice Mawadze said the alleged statements by prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare saying Sikhala wants to use arms of war and illegal means of removal of the president were unfounded.
“We are not sure what the quotation means and what was said after the quotation, and there is no mention on how he is going to do it.”
“The mere use of the words fight and war does not mean the means are unconstitutional and these words must be understood as they have many meanings.”
He added that the prosecutor has added a spin to the interpretation of the utterances.
“…many interpretations could have been arrived by the statements. There is no reference to unconstitutional means to the utterances.”
“Citizens are granted such freedom of expression and worse for politicians and it would be a sad day in court to charge one for treason over utterances made during a political rally. The constitution guarantees such rights.”
Justice stated that removing the president is not equaled to removing the government and Sikhala case was that he uttered against Mnangagwa not the Government.
“The effect of the not guilty plea by Sikhala, I gave them a directive to file their return submissions which they did and they agreed to the effect of the not guilty appeal…”
There was jubilation outside the court from hundreds of MDC supporters who had come to give a moral support to their leader.