By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Harare Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro has dismissed an “exception to charges” application made by Hopewell Chin’ono in the matter he is accused of inciting public violence in connection with the 31st July protests against corruption.
In her ruling, Guwuriro said that the issues raised in the exception application must be heard in a trial which is scheduled for 12-14 July 2021.
As usual, there was a heavy presence of riot police at the Magistrate’s Court such that Chin’ono’s lawyer Kudzai Mtisi was not allowed to address journalists at the court premises.
Chin’ono, 50, has been detained three times since he backed banned anti-government protests on social media, the 31st July protests against corruption, in July last year, when he was first arrested and charged with inciting public violence.
Two more alleged tweets landed him back in jail for allegedly obstructing justice in November and then publishing false information, and charged with Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification & Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), the section the High Court declared non-existent.
He spent an average of more than 20 days at the country’s biggest and most notorious jail, the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before being released on bail by the High Court in Harare.
Meanwhile, freelance journalist Jeffrey Moyo was also arrested on Wednesday. His lawyer Doug Coltart of ZLHR confirmed the arrest but he said his client had not been formally charged.
Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed power through a military coup in November 2017 that ousted late former president Robert Mugabe, his administration has increasingly been under-fire over gross human rights violations. Nehanda Radio