Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been arrested again on allegations of contempt of court and defeating the course of justice.
The journalist famed for exposing graft in government and being critical to the establishment, was picked up by police details from the CID Law and Order on Tuesday evening with indication that he might be taken to court today (Wednesday).
His lawyer, Gift Mtisi said Chin’ono was nabbed for alleging that Chief Justice Luke Malaba was spotted at the Harare Magistrates’ Court on the day he was denied bail by Ngoni Nduna.
“We are yet to be told as to when he will be taken to court. He is being charged with contempt of court charges and obstruction the course of justice.
“Also another charge is being preferred of corrupt interactions with officials from the National Prosecuting Authority. A warned and cautioned statement is yet to be recorded,” Mtisi said.
Chin’ono is currently on bail after spending six weeks in jail following his arrest in July ahead of the much-hyped July 31 mass protests that were shut down by authorities.
The failed protests had been organised by Jacob Ngarivhume who too was arrested for incitement to commit public violence.
On Monday this week, Chin’ono made a court application that the presiding magistrate Nduna steps down from hearing the case accusing him of being biased against the journalist.
Meanwhile, Chin’ono’s arrest triggered a response from foreign missions in Zimbabwe with the United States and British embassies in Harare indicating that they were monitoring the situation.
The US Embassy in Harare took to microblogging Twitter saying: “Reports that authorities have again arrested @daddyhope for speaking out against corruption and defending fundamental freedoms raise serious concerns. #EndImpunity”.
The UKinZimbabwe also took to Twitter saying: “We’re aware of reports that #Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been arrested again. Watching closely. #defendmediafreedom.”