By Shingirai Vambe
Harare- Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested at his residence today in the capital Harare, his Lawyer, Doug Coltart, has confirmed.
Chin’ono who was on bail after spending 42 days at Chikuribi Maximum Prison, facing allegations of inciting public violence, is alleged to have committed another offence of contempt of court as defined in section 182 of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act.
According to the state, the accused person is said to have confirmed through his twitter account that he is in secret and unlawful communication with members of the National Prosecution Authority(NPA) the same institution that is prosecuting him and thus defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184(1) (e) of the code.
It is alleged Chin’ono tweeted that the Chief Justice (CJ), Luke Malaba on the day he (Chin’ono) was denied bail, the CJ was seen leaving the Magistrate’s Court in the morning.
The judges letter says that he tells magistrates how to rule, the same happened when I was denied bail at the high court. How can we go to courts which cook judgments,” Chin’ono tweeted under the moniker Mbudziyadhura
@mmatigari tweeted that the Zimbabwe Republic Police should investigate claims by (Mbudziyadhura) Chin’ono.
“He needs to explain who saw the CJ leaving the Magistrate’s Court and if is indeed the case why its an issue that a judge is leave a court, is he trying to tarnish the courts?” tweeted matigari.
Matigari posted on social media that Chin’ono was picked up by officers from the President’s Office this evening. They allegedly filmed the arrest before taking him to the Zimbabwe Republic Police Law and Order department.
The arrest came a day after the country commemorated the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
Chin’ono was out on bail for allegedly inciting people to revolt against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration on July 31. He is alleged to have posted various messages on his Twitter handle @daddyhope between May 2020 and July 2020 calling upon Zimbabweans across the country to engage in acts of public violence against the government.
Doug Coltart from the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights told Post On Sunday that lawyers Gift Mtisi and Alex Magaisa were yet to be informed of the charge against Chin’ono.
Chin’ono will be appearing at the Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Henrietta Rushwaya, who is facing charges of trying to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai, has been remanded in custody.
She appeared before magistrate Ngoni Nduna today.