(Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – Veteran journalist Hopewell has said the Emmerson Mnangagwa led the government should focus on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic instead of continuously trying to silence government critics and those who expose corruption within it’s ranks.
In another handwritten media statement, Chin’ono noted the selective application of the law, highlighting that former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo was granted bail unopposed while the State continues to use the law to persecute those who expose such corrupt activities.
“Courts exist to deliver justice and fair hearings, and not to be abused as an instrument of political persecution against those who legitimately criticise corrupt political elites. The nation should remember that the architect who facilitated the looting of millions of dollars for COVID-19 funds Obadiah Moyo, got unopposed bail and is at home whilst I am jailed for opposing bad governance…
“Mnangagwa’s government should be focused on saving lives from Covid-19 as the country staggers along with a health system in total shambles. Unfortunately, ED’s government is using the most embarrassing repressive tactics to muzzle my voice from exposing looting of state funds and explaining the direct consequences of state corruption.” Chin’ono said.
Chin’ono who has been arrested three times in the last six months also questioned the State’s basis for arguing that he would abscond trial if granted bail, given that he was recently allowed to leave the country for medical treatment and he returned.
“The State said I was a flight risk, adding that I would abscond, yet the High Court gave me my passport in December and I spent 2 weeks out of Zimbabwe and came back home to Zimbabwe in 2021. I have been denied bail on the basis of a frivolous grounds. I respect a court’s right to make a determination on the basis of facts,” he added.
The outspoken journalist was recently arrested for “communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state,” a provision which many legal experts have claimed was struck off by the Constitutional Court in 2014.
He was today denied bail and will now approach the High Court for an appeal.