Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin detained at Harare Airport for 13 hours
Award-winning Nigerian investigative journalist David Hundeyin was detained for over 13 hours at Robert Mugabe International Airport over visa challenges.
The African journalist of the year for 2020, Hundeyin, who is also a strong critic of Nigerian president, Bila Tinubu was detained for more than 13 hours alongside a Ugandan lady who also had a visa-free document.
Hundeyin confirmed the development on Twitter showing a shabby and untidy room he was being locked in.
“I landed in Zimbabwe earlier today, and I have been detained at Harare Airport inside a smelly locked room for nearly 7 hours.
“They said that despite using the travel document of a country with a visa-free relationship, my nationality is still Nigerian, and thus, I need a visa.
“I was processed for removal from their country and locked in a tiny room, but I have heard nothing from anyone for several hours,” tweeted Hundeyin.
He further pleaded: “No one appears to be in charge of anything, and even though my return flight to Addis has been rescheduled for tonight, I am still locked in this room, and I risk missing my flight.
“They appear to have forgotten that they have people in detention here. I am ready to hop on my flight and never come back to Zimbabwe for the rest of my life.
“Please, someone out there who is actually in charge of something should let me go so I can be on my merry way. I’m not interested in visiting Zimbabwe anymore.
“I want to go home. Please,” he said.
The journalist was only allowed to use the toilet for the first time after a lengthy 10 hours detention with the Zimbabwean authorities assuring him he would be allowed to catch his exit flight.
After 13 hours Hundeyin tweeted that he was finally being escorted to the boarding gate for his flight.
Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana in a bid to justify Hundeyin’s unsavoury detention explained that Nigerian nationals were of Category C of Zimbabwe’s Entry Visa Requirements and must obtain Visas before embarking on their travel to Zimbabwe.
Mangwana’s statement, laced with an apology, conveniently did not acknowledge that despite Hundeyin being a Nigerian national he had used a travel document from a country with a visa-free relationship.
“I am sorry that this journalist found himself in this situation.
“That said, we do have Immigration laws in our country that are obligatory to all prospective entrants, and no profession is immune to them.
“If someone’s travel document is such that they need a Visa, that law applies to everyone including an award winning journalist. Our laws are blind to social stations or attended achievements,” said Mangwana.