Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on Wednesday night declared that his remand prison experience had emboldened his resolve to expose corruption saying he may have been gagged from twitter but will continue to write on Facebook.
High Court judge justice Tawanda Chitapi on Wednesday set free Chin’ono after granting him Z$10,000 bail, ending 43 days of incarceration.
Chin’ono who was released from remand prison on his fourth attempt at bail, was gagged from posting messages using his specific twitter handle.
He was ordered to reside at given address and to report at a Zimbabwe Republic Police station two times a week until finalisation of his matter.
“I remain strong,” Chin’ono, flanked by Jacob Ngarivhume, told journalists outside Chikurubi Maximum Prison following the pair’s release.
“In fact I was talking to my friend Jacob (Ngarivhume) that if these guys knew the mistake they made by taking us in there, because we have seen things we only used to hear about and we were not sure about but now we know and we can write authoritatively about those things,” he continued.
“Its part of dictatorships. They disable you. The reason I was put in there is because, with a lot of other journalists, we were exposing corruption. They have removed me from twitter but not from Facebook so I will continue to write on Facebook and also I will write for local media about my experience in this place.”
Earlier, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who are representing Chin’ono complained against Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service’s treatment of their client. ZLHR said that prison guards manhandled the freelance journalist and brought him to appear before Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna against the advice of his medical practitioner
“The doctor who examined him on Monday advised prison authorities at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to put him in self isolation,” ZLHR said.
“The doctor recommended that given his condition and the symptoms that he was showing he should not go to court but should be isolated from other inmates.”
“But some defiant prison guards on Tuesday ignored the doctors’ recommendations and misrepresented to him that his doctor had come to see him before forcing him out of his cell and manhandled him to board the prison truck and brought him to court against the advice of his private doctor.”
The release of Chino’no on bail followed that of opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume who was granted Z$50,000 bail after a High Court judge acceded to his bail application
The Transform Zimbabwe Leader and the Chin’ono were arrested on July 20 charged with inciting public violence for allegedly calling for removal of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
The protest was thwarted by police and the military which kept people off the streets of Harare, the capital, and other cities on July 31