October 20, 2020

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Zimbabwean Journalist Granted Bail after 43 Days

Post On Sunday Reporter

Harare- Zimbabwean Journalist and award winning filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono was granted bail this afternoon by High Court Judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi.

Chin’ono was released on a ZWL $10.000 dollar bail citing that the Magistrate, Ngoni Nduna had misdirected in failing to find that the passing of July 31 was a changed circumstance.

Chin’ono’s bail came after one and half months with conditions that he surrenders his Chisipite house title deeds, passport and report twice a week at Highlands police station for routine check.

Hopewell was held at Chikurubi  Maximum Security Prison where he is alleged to have contracted to Covid-19 virus after his lawyer Doug Coltart reported Chin’ono to be not well with symptoms of corona virus and asked for his private doctor to attend to him as he confirmed himself at the court to be having a fever.

“I Am not feeling well, i have a fever but they have asked me to come court” Chin’ono said.

After his release together with popular July 31 political activists, Transform Zimbabwe Leader Jacob Ngarivhume both told the media that “The prison hospital has no medication, Covid-19 patients in isolation are not getting any medicine and they are just given warm water to drink.

They added there is no running water or soap, things are bad and it all comes down to the issue of corruption we always talk about.”

“We will get there, we dream a Zimbabwe  free of corruption, a Zimbabwe that respects human rights and the rule of law and will never relent on that, we are very strong, 45 days of detention will never move us an inch into the things that we believe, this is what Zimbabwe  needs and it does need any of the things that have been happening” said Ngarivhume.

Hopewell reiterated that he remains strong, “If these guys new the mistake they have done in taking us in prison, we have seen things that we only used to hear about and we were not sure and now we can write authoritatively about those things.

“I will write for local media about my experience in this prison” Chin’ono said.

On the day he was sent to Chikurubi, Hopewell said, Journalism has been criminalized while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Service, Nick Mangwana claim the International Community is interfering with the Zimbabwe Justice system because of the incarceration of Chin’ono

It is the state’s case that both Chin’ono and Ngarivhume  incited violence through social media before July 31, and Journalist Chin’ono argued that he had made a stride together with other journalists in Zimbabwe  reporting on corruption which is unguarded.

Credit to Sam Takawira who was at Chikurubi Maximum Prison interviewing the 2 

 

Meanwhile another political activist Zengeza West Legislator and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC A) Deputy Chairperson, Job Sikhala bail ruling will be heard tomorrow at Harare Magistrate Court where he is appearing on the same charge of inciting violence. Sikhala was arrested three weeks ago and he has been appearing before Magistrate Lazini Ncube since.

Sikhala is being represented by Advocate Eric T Matinenga who is taking instructions from lawyers, Bamu and Harrison Nkomo.

In Masvingo, MDC A, Political activist Godfrey Kurauone after spending 33 days in prison, it is alleged that his docket was not ready when he appeared before Magistrate Patience Madondo and there were no witnesses to his alleged case.

43rd day today Kuraone trial had a false start because the state had not completed recording statements from the two available witnesses. The three political activists and one journalist went to court from the prison hand-cuffed and in leg-irons,while Sikhala told the court that one Officer-In-Charge at Chikurubi, threatened him with death.