Hopewell Chin’ono pays tribute to activists who defended his homestead
Award-winning investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has paid tribute to the people who defended his homestead from Zanu-PF youths who wanted to grab his goats in Murehwa over the weekend.
This comes after a ruling party youth leader Taurai Kandishaya mobilised party’s supporters to go to Chin’ono’s rural village in Murehwa on Saturday, threatening to invade and forcibly take possession of his boer goats from his breeding project.
Kandishaya accused Chin’ono of benefitting from a state-sponsored Command Agriculture programme and incited youths to go and collect the goats.
“This project was meant to be passed on. Government distributed goats to farmers so they breed and pass to others. Hopewell Chin’ono personalised the project. Now is time for the youth of Zimbabwe to demand their share.
“Here are your goats. Go and collect your share. Down with the goat looter,” said Kandishaya.
But the intention did not yield any results after youths across the country converged at Chin’ono’s rural, led by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba, to defend the project.
Zanu-PF did not attempt to enter the village.
“Deeply overwhelmed by the amount of support and solidarity shown to my community and myself today.
“Shed tears seeing pictures of Zimbabwe’s award winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga and her filmmaker husband Olaf with many citizens at my ancestral home today. Greatly indebted!” Chin’ono said.
He believes that Kandishaya tarnished the image of the country by attempting to override his property rights.
“Taurai Kandishaya did more damage to Zimbabwe in one week than anyone could ever do.
“His thuggish behavior has discredited the mantra of Open For Business.
“What kind of foreign investor would come to invest in a country where locals are dispossessed?” he said while thanking one of the young people who defended his homestead.
Top human rights lawyer Thabani Mpofu condemned Kandishaya’s barbaric attempt to grab Chin’ono’s goats.
“The ongoing attack on Hopewell’s property rights is sufficiently sinister and serious to warrant a formal response from the state. The state must never allow thugs to ferment chaos. Individual liberties must be respected. This is a constitutional imperative,” he said.
Section 186 of the Criminal Law argues that Kundishaya, by making those threats to steal Chin’ono’s goats committed an offence.
“Any person who by words, writing or conduct threatens to commit a crime referred to in subsection (3) against another person, thereby inspiring in the person to whom he or she communicates the threat a reasonable fear or belief that he or she will commit the crime, shall be guilty of threatening to commit the crime concerned if
“(a) he or she intended to commit the crime concerned or to inspire in the person to whom he or she communicated the threat a reasonable fear or belief that he or she would commit the crime concerned; or
“(b) he or she realised that there was a real risk or possibility of inspiring in the person to whom he or she communicated the threat a reasonable fear or belief that he or she would commit the crime concerned; and be liable to a fine not exceeding level five or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both,” read the statutes. Nehanda Radio