JOURNALIST and political activist Hopewell Chin’ono has vowed to continue speaking out against corruption after his release on bail following three weeks in detention.
Chin’ono is facing charges of “peddling falsehoods” on social media – charges he denies.
Chin’ono, who was released from Chikurubi Maximum Prison on Wednesday after paying about $2,000 in bail, is defiant and bitter about his 19 days in detention on a charge that carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted.
“In the past six months have spent 80 days behind that filthy prison on trumped up charges, simply because I am talking about corruption, simply because I am making citizens understand the impact of corruption and how it is related to their suffering: to the failure by the government to put drugs in hospitals, to fix roads, to deliver water in people’s homes,” said Chin’ono.
“I am a journalist and I will continue doing journalism. I haven’t broken any laws of this country. It is political persecution, as I have been saying since day one when I was first arrested on the 20th of July.
Chin’ono and opposition leaders Fadzayi Mahere and Job Sikhala were arrested early this month for commenting on a video in which citizens accused police officers of fatally assaulting a baby, who was on her mother’s back at bus stop.
Police later issued a statement saying both the mother and the baby were never assaulted.
Chin’ono is on bail for two other charges. In July he was arrested for promoting an anti-government protest on social media. Then in November he was arrested for obstruction of justice, as well as demeaning the country’s National Prosecution Authority with his posts on social media.
He denies any wrongdoing. – VOA 🔺