By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Incarcerated investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been denied bail for a third time by Magistrate Ngoni Nduna.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Executive Director Rose Hanzi said authorities at Chikurubi Prison are now barring Beatrice Mtetwa from visiting Chin’ono.
She cried foul, citing they were stripping him of his right to legal representation adding that the court only barred Mtetwa from representing Chin’ono in court.
Magistrate Nduna removed Mtetwa from representing Chin’ono accusing her of allegedly scandalising the court.
“She is now being barred from even consulting with her client from prison.
“It appears that members of the ZPCS are now interpreting that lack of audience in court to also apply to other places of detention and facilities.
“They are essentially stripping Chin’ono of his right to legal representation at all levels because ordinarily that ruling only applies to the lead counsel not representing him in court.
“It is something that we are strategising as a team to see how best we can get that right to legal representation restored, we are likely going to approach the courts,” Hanzi said.
Chin’ono played a key role in exposing Mnangagwa, his son Collins and his wife Auxilia in massive allegations of corruption, the US$60m Drax Covidgate scandal.
The fallout saw the arrest and dismissal of former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo. But Chin’ono was also arrested together with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
Last week the Zimbabwe Republic Police arrested main Opposition MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala.
They are all charged for inciting violence, in connection with 31st July protests against corruption.
Ngarivhume has been denied bail for a third time by Magistrate Trynos Utahwashe.