By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has applied for a temporary release of his passport, as he intends to travel to South Africa where he was invited to participate in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s Black Wednesday commemorations.
His lawyers, Gift Mutisi and Doug Coltart, told Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna on Monday that the Black Wednesday commemorations were scheduled for Wednesday.
“As per the letter of invitation attached hereto, the SABC has invited Mr Chin’ono to participate in a round-table discussion to unpack the significance of Black Wednesday to the SABC as a public service broadcaster entrusted to deliver public interest programming,” read part of the letter.
Mutisi and Coltart also took the opportunity to tell magistrate Nduna that their law firm was suing him in his personal capacity over his decision to stop lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa from representing Chin’ono and could no longer afford to handle the matter due to those circumstances.
Nduna was offended with the way he was addressed prompting him to summon the two lawyers to his Chambers.
Mutisi had to return after the meeting to apologise in court, saying he never intended to ruffle the court’s feathers.
Chin’ono who recently exposed the first family in a massive corruption in which US$60m was stolen through a shadowy company called Drax International.
The fallout saw the arrest and dismissal of former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo after he was accused of awarding Drax International a US$60m tender without requisite paperwork.
The Drax Covidgate scandal implicated Mnangagwa’s son, Collins and his wife Auxilia but arrested was Delish Nguwaya who purported to be the company’s representative in Harare.
Regardless of disclosing this information, Chin’ono was arrested by police at his house and charged with inciting violence in connection with 31st July protests against corruption in President Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.
He was arrested together with protest convenor, opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
They spent 45 days at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before being released through bail by the High Court in Harare.
They were ordered to surrender their travelling documents, including passports, as part of bail conditions until their matter is finalised.
Chin’ono is an award winning journalist and living without a passport is proving to be difficult as he may be invited to different countries in connection with his profession. Nehanda Radio