A prominent investigative journalist in Zimbabwe has said the struggle against corruption in the country must continue as he was sent back to prison to await trial on charges of incitement of public violence.
Hopewell Chin’ono, an internationally respected reporter, recently published documents raising concerns that powerful individuals in Zimbabwe were profiting from multimillion-dollar deals for essential supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The 49-year-old was arrested earlier this week and has been held in police or prison cells since. Authorities accuse him of promoting planned protests against corruption in government on 31 July, which police say will turn violent.
Chin’ono denies the charges against him and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
During a hearing on Friday in Harare, the capital, magistrates said they had denied Chin’ono bail as a preventative measure to stop the journalist reoffending before the planned rally.
Chin’ono, 49, will return to court on 7 August. Supporters are concerned that he will be exposed to Covid-19, which is spreading in Zimbabwe’s prisons.
“I’m OK, I’m fine … Basically, this means journalism has been criminalised. The struggle against corruption should continue. People should not stop, they should carry on,” Chin’ono said on leaving the court.
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