By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Incarcerated journalist Hopewell Chin’ono is surviving on biscuits and water at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has revealed.
Part of Chin’ono’s bail hearing requires him to give evidence on the living conditions at Chikurubi.
The court ordered him to give evidence in camera on Thursday with no members of the public present.
But his lawyer cried foul over difficulties she is facing to access her client at Zimbabwe’s biggest prison.
Mtetwa was worried that Chin’ono is not allowed to receive food from outside even from his family.
Hopewell is on medication that requires him not to eat Sadza yet it is the only meal found at Chikurubi. His lawyer said Chin’ono is surviving on water and biscuits.
“We struggled to see him, there were attempts to limit lawyers’ visits.
“His relatives were not allowed to see Hopewell Chin’ono who is in the Maximum Security Prison. He has been in leg irons as you saw him today in court.
“We had to specifically ask the court to have leg irons removed because it’s an anathema to any justice to have someone in chains being charged. What sort of justice would that be.
“Yesterday they didn’t allow his sister to see him. He is being denied completely food from outside, they say he must get dry food.
“So he has been living on biscuits and water,” Mtetwa said.
Chin’ono who played a key role in exposing President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his son Collins and his wife Auxilia in massive allegations of corruption, the US$60m Drax Covidgate scandal that saw the arrest and dismissal of former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested together with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
They were charged for inciting violence, in connection with 31st July protests against corruption.
Ngarivhume’s bail hearing could not start on Wednesday because a magistrate who was “specifically” assigned to preside over his case was not available. Nehanda Radio