Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members on Tuesday 3 November 2020 arrested freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on charges of contempt of court related to a tweet which he allegedly posted on Twitter in October.
Chin’ono was detained at Harare Central Police Station.
ZRP members told Chin’ono’s lawyer Gift Mtisi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights that the freelance journalist had committed an offence of contempt of court as defined in section 182(1)(a) and (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The allegations stem from a tweet which Chin’ono allegedly posted on Twitter on 28 October 2020 which read; “The day I was denied bail in July, Chief Justice Malaba was seen leaving the magistrates court in the morning. The judge’s letter says 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?”
This is the second time that Chin’ono has been arrested in 2020 after he was first apprehended on Monday 20 July 2020 and charged with inciting people to revolt against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration during some anti-government protests called for in July.
He was granted bail in September after spending several weeks in prison following his arrest on charges of incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 187(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 37(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Chin’ono was also charged with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
His trial is yet to commence.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)