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Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bail again

Chin’ono was arrested more than two weeks ago on charges of inciting public violence, but critics say he was being punished for helping to expose high-level corruption.
Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono appears at the magistrates courts while handcuffed in Harare, Wednesday, July, 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Detained journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was yesterday denied bail by High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi. He has been in remand prison for more than two weeks after his arrest on charges of inciting public violence.

Justice Webster Chinamhora read the judgement on behalf of Justice Chitapi.

This is the judgment by my brother judge. The operative part reads, the appeal is hereby denied,” Justice Chitapi said.

Chin’ono is accused of inciting public violence through use of social media to encourage citizens to join anti-government protests that were planned for July 31 by the opposition with the support of civil society organisations.

He was arrested on July 20 before being denied bail by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna, prompting him to file an appeal with the upper court.

The scribe was arrested on the same day with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume who will know his fate this Friday when Chitapi is expected to hand down judgement.

The nationwide anti-government protests were slated for July 31 but were crushed by state security forces.

Through his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Chin’ono argued that he was innocent, adding that no violence occurred on July 31.

The journalist also contends that he simply did his job. He said journalism has been criminalised.

Chin’ono, an internationally respected journalist, has unsettled the Zanu PF government through a relentless focus on government corruption scandals. The Zimbabwe Independent.

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