Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube on 13 January 2021 dismissed journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s challenge to his placement on remand on charges of publishing or communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State.
The magistrate said Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, under which he is being charged, had been declared unconstitutional only in terms of the old Constitution and not the current 2013 Constitution.
In challenging Chin’ono’s placement on remand, defence lawyers, led by Harrison Nkomo, had argued that the section in question was invalidated as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
His lawyers had further argued that once a law is declared invalid in terms of the old Constitution, it remains invalid even under the current (2013) Constitution.
It is alleged Chin’ono posted a tweet that falsely reported the death of a child after a physical assault by the police.