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Chin'ono Acquitted Of Breaching Bail Conditions In Rushwaya's Gold Smuggling Case

9 months agoFri, 12 May 2023 16:13:20 GMT
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Chin'ono Acquitted Of Breaching Bail Conditions In Rushwaya's Gold Smuggling Case

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been acquitted by the High Court of Zimbabwe in a 2020 case where he was accused of breaching his bail conditions by tweeting about the court outcome of Henrietta Rushwaya’s gold smuggling scandal.

He was charged with obstructing justice and detained in a maximum-security prison, linked to the arrest of Zimbabwe Miners Federation head Henrietta Rushwaya at Harare Airport. Chin’ono’s tweet about talking to prosecutors regarding Rushwaya was deemed to have jeopardised “the integrity of the case against himself and that of Rushwaya” by the state.

However, the High Court ruled in his favour on Friday, May 12, 2023. The ruling read in part:

Resultantly it is ordered that:

“That the applicant’s exception be upheld and that he be found not guilty and acquitted”.

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Speaking after the ruling, Chin’ono said the outcome was proof that he was a victim of political persecution for exposing corruption by President Mnangagwa’s government. He said:

This ruling came after my legal team challenged Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa’s ruling that I must be tried by her although the charge was bogus.

I would like to thank my legal team that was led by Beatrice Mtetwa, assisted by Doug Coltart and Gift Mtisi and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

This third acquittal in a row at the High Court proves what I have always said to the world, that I was a victim of political persecution by President Mnangagwa’s Government for exposing corruption by his Government and other players in his Government.

This latest acquittal came after I was arrested on November 3 2020, for exposing that the National Prosecution Authority had done a corrupt deal with Henrietta Rushwaya, to give her bail unopposed after she was caught trying to smuggle 6.7 kgs of Gold to Dubai.

I was first arrested on July 20 2020, for exposing the looting of public funds meant for Covid-19, the regime lied that I had incited citizens to remove the Government from power.

I spent 45 days at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. I was arrested again for the second time on November 3 in 2020, for this case which was thrown out today.

I spent 24 days in prison at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

I was arrested again for the third time on January 8 2020, for something I didn’t do, and using a law that doesn’t exist.

I spent 23 days in Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

The case was thrown out again by the High Court…

Chin’ono criticised President Mnangagwa’s government for using the police, courts, and prison service to persecute journalists, opposition members, and critics instead of maintaining law and order.

He accused the government of wasting three years of his life for doing his job as a journalist, calling its actions evil and cruel.

Chin’ono stated that there is nothing to celebrate, as political prisoners like Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume are still wrongly jailed and persecuted. 

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