High Court judge, Justice Davison Foroma has been granted ZWL$20 000 bail to journalist Hopewell Chin’ono ending his 20 day confinement at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison following his arrest on 8 January 2021.
Chin’ono is facing charges of peddling falsehoods prejudicial to the state after he tweeted that a police officer had killed a child while attempting to hit a commuter omnibus loading at an undesignated point.
Justice Foroma ordered that the same bail conditions in the case in which he is also charged with incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence would apply in this case.
Meanwhile, High Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi has reserved his ruling Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala’s bail application.
MDC Alliance national spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere who was also facing the same charges with Sikhala and Chin’ono was granted bail at the Harare Magistrates court.
Commenting on Justice Foroma’s ruling, United Kingdom based Constitutional law expert Dr Alex Magaisa tweeted saying Chin’ono should not have been detained as the charge emanates from a non-existence offence which was outlawed by the Supreme Court.
“Finally, after enduring 3 weeks at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and exposure to COVID-19, Hopewell Chin’ono @daddyhope is granted bail. He should never have been arrested let alone detained or denied bail by the hopeless magistrates’ court. There’s NO offence!” said Magaisa.
Chin’ono was represented by lawyers, Harrison Nkomo and Paidamoyo Saurombe from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
The award winning journalist also has pending cases of subversion and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.