By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi has granted ZWL 10, 000 bail to investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono under strict conditions that he stays away from Twitter, surrender title deeds of his plot, surrender passport, reside at his given address and report two times a week to Highlands Police Station.
Chitapi accused Magistrate Ngoni Nduna of failing to realise that 31st July was just a ‘D Day’.
Chitapi added that Chin’ono’s health condition was reason enough to consider him a bail candidate.
“The 31st July demonstration was a D Day. It was all about 31st July 2020 and the day has passed. Health condition of the accused person is a relevant factor to be taken into account,” Chitapi said.
His lawyer Douglas Coltart of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the conditions were strict and stringent but they were happy that their client was free.
“We are happy that our client has been granted bail, that was our main thrust.
“Of course the fact that he has been incarcerated all this time is a huge injustice. These bail conditions are extremely strict,” Coltart said.
Chin’ono was arrested last month and charged for allegedly inciting violence in connection with 31st July protests.
He 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.
Chin’ono was also arrested along with opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume who was also granted ZWL 50,000 bail under conditions, he stays away from sharing messages on Twitter, to report three times per week to Waterfalls Police Station and surrender his passport.