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Zimbabwe journalist Chin’ono denied bail after second arrest

On charges of obstruction of justice.
Image: Bloomberg

A court in Zimbabwe denied bail on Thursday for journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono after his arrest last week on charges of obstruction of justice.

The arrest of Chin’ono and dozens of activists in the last four months has led to accusations that the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is persecuting the opposition, a charge the authorities deny.

Chin’ono, who uses social media posts to criticise the government, was first arrested in July on charges of inciting violent anti-government protests.

After his latest arrest, he was charged with contempt of court but prosecutors dropped those charges. He is now accused of attempting to “defeat the course of justice” after he posted comments on Twitter about the National Prosecuting Authority.

Chin’ono has denied the latest charges, saying he is being persecuted for exposing corruption in government.

Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa ruled that Chin’ono should stay in prison custody while awaiting trial because “the accused person has a propensity to commit offences”.

Doug Coltart, one of Chin’ono’s lawyers, said an appeal against the ruling would be made at the High Court.

Chin’ono was first detained for more than a month at a maximum-security prison until his release on bail on September 2. The embassies of the United States and Britain have criticised the arrest of Chin’ono.

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If this had happened under Ian Douglas Smith in Rhodesia it would have been front page headline news around the world. Now it barely gets a mention. Forever in the memory of the world the Sharpeville massacre lives on (quite correctly) and 69 people were killed. The Life Esidimeni scandal caused the death of 143 people (as far as we know) and no one has been prosecuted to date. I won’t start on the Marikana massacre …..

Strange how the goalposts move.

End of comments.

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