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Zimbabwe: The Banana Republic of Southern Africa

04 Nov 2020 at 14:11hrs | Views
Hopewell Chin'ono, the Zimbabwean journalist and anti-corruption campaigner was rearrested following allegations of breaching his bail conditions.

Chin'ono is being charged with contempt of court through his post on Twitter which allegedly impairs the dignity of Zimbabwe's Chief Justice Luke Malaba, said Roselyn Hanzi, Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Leader of the main opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-A), Nelson Chamisa said that such unlawful arrests only happen in a Banana Republic.

"This only happens in a Banana republic," Advocate, Nelson Chamisa said on his Twitter account.

This is the second time that the prominent journalist has been arrested this year. Hopewell earlier this year spend close to six weeks in prison on accusations of supporting an anti-government protest.

Chin'ono is being accused of violating his bail conditions by making a comment on the judge's letter, in which he was complaining against the deteriorated working conditions in the country.

 "Reports that authorities have again arrested Hopewell Chin'ono for speaking out against corruption and defending fundamental freedoms raise serious concerns," said the United States Embassy in Harare through their Twitter account.

 "A free press is critical to combating corruption".

Chin'ono is being charged with contempt of court and is being accused of allegedly in breach of his bail conditions and if found guilty he will face a lengthy jail sentence.

Legal experts say that the charges were "nonsensical", Hopewell is a journalist and he is intitled to freedom of expression and is also covered under freedom of the media.

"The arrest of Hopewell Chin'ono is a further assault on the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of the media. It confirms that Mr Mnangagwa is presiding over a fascist dictatorship that has seen a chronic shrinking of basic freedoms," said Fadzayi Mahere.

Ever since Emmerson Mnangagwa got into office in 2017 following the ousting of his fellow ZANU PF comrade, Robert Mugabe; arrests and abductions of activists have been making headlines in Zimbabwe.

Arrests of activists this year are believed to be part of a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent in Zimbabwe, with between 50 and 100 opposition party officials, writers, labour activists and others have been arrested.

Chin'ono has been one of Zimbabwe's most prominent figures openly criticizing President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ZANU PF administration and has been accusing the entire system to be corruption and violating human rights.

Source - Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi
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