Zim journalist Hopewell Chin’ono arrested again
Pretoria – The Zimbabwe Republic Police have reportedly re-arrested Harvard University-educated Zimbabwean freelance journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono.
The outspoken government critic was in September released on bail, after he was arrested and incarcerated in July for allegedly inciting public violence in Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday, Zimbabwean advocate and spokesperson for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, Fadzayi Mahere, confirmed Chin’ono’s release on Twitter.
“Shocked and distressed that Hopewell Chin’ono has been arrested again in Zimbabwe. Arrest now being used as a systematic strategy of intimidation and silencing in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Tanzania. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter,” tweeted Mahere.
It is believed the journalist’s arrest relates to a breach of his strict bail conditions relating to social media usage.
In September, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum said Chin’ono had been released on bail by high court judge, Justice Terrence Chitapi.
Both Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe political leader Jacob Ngarivhume were arrested on July 20 and held at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, while awaiting court appearances.
They were both denied bail three times.
In September, Ngarivhume was released on ZWL 50,000 bail earlier in the day and, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, “has been requested to surrender his passport, not to use his tweeter handle and to report to police three times every week”.
Chin’ono was instrumental in using his Twitter account to call out corrupt officials within the Zimbabwean government, which led to accusations that his arrest, and that of Ngarivhume, was politically motivated.
Chin’ono’s exposing corrupt politicians eventually led to the arrest and dismissal of the minister of health and childcare, Dr Obediah Moyo.
On July 7, the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda confirmed Moyo’s dismissal.
African News Agency