Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 13:13:39 +0800 (WST)
From: Peter Limb <>
Subject: Zimbabwe elections

Ndabaningi Sithole Remanded In Prison

PANA. 17 February, 1996

HARARE, Zimbabwe (PANA) - Trial of the leader of the Ndonga faction of Zimbabwe African Union ZANU (NDONGA), Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, facing charges of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe was on Saturday adjourned to April 23.

Sithole's lawyer, Tendayi Biti of Honey and Blackenberg law firm, told reporters that magistrate Lionel Mazongwe set the date in chambers.

Biti said he would protest against the court for keeping his client waiting for about two hours outside the courtroom, when it was known court would not be sitting.

Sithole arrived at Rotten Row magistrates' courts shortly before 8 AM and waited in vain for court officials, until 10 AM when his lawyer told him a date had been set in chambers.

The opposition leader, who is on 100,000 zimdollars (11, 000 USD) bail, is facing two charges under the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act for recruiting people to undergo military training and conspiracy to engage in sabotage.

He is accused of personally picking the spot for the abortive attempt to kill President Mugabe as he passed in his motorcade on August 4 last year.

It had been earlier confirmed by law officers from the office of the attorney-general that Sithole would not be tried before the March 16 and 17 presidential elections, which he is contesting, to avoid the trial being seen as "political harassment."

A Sithole victory in the elections would present problems for the attorney general's office because under Zimbabwe's constitution, the president enjoys immunity fron civil and criminal proceedings.

ENG009 from SSS.019 (960217-14:13)

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