POLICE intend to press corruption charges against fearless journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who was arrested Tuesday on separate allegations of posting messages on Twitter that impaired the dignity of the court.
It has emerged police, however, want to press corruption charges against Chin’ono who for some time has been exposing widespread corruption within government corridors.
He was first arrested earlier in July on charges of inciting public violence ahead of the #31July anti-corruption protests.
The journalist went on to spend 45 days in remand prison at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before his release after being granted $10 000 bail.
However, Chin’ono was arrested again Tuesday on fresh charges of using his Twitter handle “to post messages that impaired the dignity, reputation and authority of the court whilst clearly intending to do so”.
According to police national spokesperson Paul Nyathi, they have also launched a corruption investigation against Chin’ono.
“A corruption investigation has been launched to determine the true nature and extent of the collaboration between suspect and prosecutors in the NPA,” Nyathi said.
In a statement Tuesday, Nyathi said the police had brought two charges against Chin’ono, defeating the course of justice and contempt of court.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police have arrested Hopewell Chin’ono for contravening Section 182 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 and alternatively contravening Section 182 (1) (b) of the same Act “contempt of court” and contravening Section 184 (1) (e) of the Code “Defeating or obstruction the course of justice”, he said.
“Allegations are that between 25th and 27th 20202, the suspect used his Twitter account @daddyhope to post messages that impaired the dignity, reputation and authority of the court whilst clearly intending to do so.
“Secondly, Hopewell Chin’ono has confirmed through his Twitter handle that he is in secret and unlawful communication with members of the National Prosecuting Authority, an institution that is prosecuting him.
“This has serious implications as it undermines the integrity of the criminal proceedings against him. The real risk being that he is manipulating and defeating the course of justice.”