South Africa-Communication-Media

S/African editors welcome release of Zimbabwean journalist

APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s recent release from jail on bail has been welcomed by South African editors, who on Friday demanded charges against him to be dropped immediately.

As part of his bail conditions, Chin’ono has been banned from communicating with the public through social media as well as to report to the police three times a week and surrender his passport to the authorities.

The release came after the journalist’s fourth attempt at securing his freedom since his arrest six weeks ago.

“The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) joins the Southern African Editors Forum and the African Editors Forum in welcoming the release on bail of Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono after being held for 44 days in pre-trial detention,” SANEF executive director Kate Skinner said.

Skinner condemned the arrest of Chin’ono in July on allegations of plotting to overthrow the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“Though we welcome his release, we feel it was an abusive move in the first place. We want all the charges against him to be dropped with immediate effect,” Skinner said.

Chin’ono was arrested on 20 July, joining a group of 60 activists and journalists who were picked up for protesting against corruption and the country’s poor economic performance.

The activists were charged with inciting public violence following Chin’ono’s use of his Twitter account to call out corrupt officials in the Zimbabwean government.

Following a series of his work documenting corruption in the Zimbabwean government, Chin’ono was labelled anti-government by the authorities.

Ironically, his accounts of fraudulent tenders in the health system led to the dismissal of former health minister Obadiah Moyo in May. 

NM/jn/APA

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