Journalist Chin’ono bail application ruling tomorrow

Journalist Chin’ono bail application ruling tomorrow

Harare Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa on 11 November 2020 reserved ruling to tomorrow following application for bail by detained journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice.

Following the opposing of bail by the State, the defence team led by Beatrice Mtetwa, highlighted that:

  • The State had failed to place evidence before the court which would establish compelling reasons for the denial of bail.

  • Detective Inspector Naison Chirape, who testified in support of the State’s opposition to bail, confirmed in his testimony to the Court that the contentious Tweet (which forms the basis of the charges), does not constitute an offence because on that date, Henrietta Rushwaya, had not even appeared in court.

  • If granted bail, Chin’ono will have no motivation to abscond as he is already on bail for more serious allegations, whose bail conditions he has not breached.

  • The State’s submission that Chin’ono is an ‘incorrigible criminal’ is ill-founded because he has never been convicted of any offence.

  • The interests of the State are covered by the High Court conditions relating to the charge of inciting public violence, and the Magistrates Court is at liberty in the present case, to impose additional conditions if necessary.

Chin’ono is also on bail on charges 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.

About MISA Zimbabwe

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.