(Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Justice Jester Charewa today quashed criminal proceedings against journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on charges of communicating falsehoods, ruling that Section 31 of the Criminal Code was no longer part of Zimbabwean law.
The ruling by Justice Charewa set aside the decision by Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube to place Chin’ono on remand.
Earlier this year, the veteran journalist was arrested and charged with communicating falsehoods after the State accused him of tweeting that a police officer had fatally struck a baby with a truncheon.
This followed public outcry over a video that was widely circulated showing a woman wrestling with a police officer accompanied by claims the police had struck the woman and her baby.
However, through his legal team, Chin’ono denied the allegations that he tweeted on the matter.
The Defence team led by Harrison Nkomo further argued that the State is using a “non-existent” law to prosecute the accused citing that the provision they are referring to was struck off by the Constitutional Court in 2014.
Chin’ono has been arrested multiple times since last year in July when he exposed massive corruption within top government officials.