Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was on 20 November 2020 granted bail by High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi following his appeal for bail on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

This came after Harare magistrate, Marehwanazvo Gofa, had dismissed Chin’ono’s application for bail on the basis that the journalist had a propensity to commit offences. 

Justice Chitapi said the magistrate had misdirected herself in finding that Chin’ono should continue to be on remand on the basis that he has the propensity to commit offences. The judge said being arrested does not amount to being found to have committed an offence.

He said the standard of proof for guilt in the commission of an offence is not reasonable suspicion, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Among his other bail conditions, Chin’ono’s was ordered to report twice to the nearest police station, every Monday and Friday, surrender his passport and title deeds to his Chisipite home in Harare. 

He was also ordered not to use his Twitter account, @daddyhope, to send tweets that obstruct the course of justice. 

He will appear in court for remand on 26 November 2020 on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

Meanwhile, trial dates on the other charges he is facing of incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry or alternatively incitement to commit public violence, have been set for 7, 8 and 9 December 2020. 

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Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe