Zimbabwean court must free imprisoned journalist who is unwell “The police arrested this journalist by smashing their way into his home in large numbers as if he was a dangerous criminal,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “The use of brutal methods and arrests designed solely to silence dissident journalists recalls the persecution of media and journalists during the Mugabe dictatorship. Holding this leading Zimbabwean media figure is the latest and clearly most disturbing sign of a resurgence in attacks on the freedom to inform. Hopewell Chin’ono must be released.” November 27, 2020 Find out more News Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa to go further Hopewell Chin’ono, an investigative reporter who won CNN’s African Journalist of the Year prize in 2008, was arrestedyesterday morning at his home in the capital, Harare, by “eight or so security agents,” his lawyer reported in a video posted on social media showing the sliding glass door they smashed in order to force their way in. The police says he is charged with “incitement to commit public violence” and “incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence” although, according to his lawyer, no warrant was presented at the time of his arrest. The charges are reportedly linked to his tweets about an anti-corruption protest being planned by an opposition politician who was also arrested yesterday. November 12, 2020 Find out more July 21, 2020 Zimbabwe : well-known journalist arrested at his Harare home Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, Zimbabwe has restricted press freedom more than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa, according Tracker-19, an RSF tool that tracks disinformation, censorship and other press freedom violations linked to coverage of the coronavirus crisis. At least ten journalists have been arrested arbitrarily in Zimbabwe and four have been attacked by the security forces, sometimes on the sole grounds of not having an up-to-date press card. Receive email alerts Reports September 1, 2020 Find out more Zimbabwe is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, only two places higher than in 2017, when Mugabe – regarded by RSF as one of Africa’s worst press freedom and media predators – was finally removed after nearly four decades in power. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the release of one of Zimbabwe’s best known journalists, whose arrest is the latest in a series of disturbing press freedom violations that recall the Robert Mugabe years. News Follow the news on Zimbabwe RSF_en Help by sharing this information Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bail ZimbabweAfrica Condemning abuses Covid19Imprisoned News Hopewell Chin’ono, journaliste d’investigation zimbabwéen (Facebook). ZimbabweAfrica Condemning abuses Covid19Imprisoned An outspoken critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government, Chin’ono recently helped to expose overbilling by a company that was awarded a 50-million euro contract to supply medical equipment to combat Covid-19. The revelations resulted in the health minister’s arrest.
Assassination allegationAs the probe into the alleged assassination plot against the Guyanese Head of State deepens, Police have discovered new information which may change the entire direction of the investigation.Guyana Times understands that the complainant, who is a well-known barber of Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD), had offered a significant sum of money to someone to support his claim of being approached by two businessmen to kill President David Granger.The complainant who claimed that two local businessmen hired him to assassinate President David GrangerThe complainant, who up to Monday evening was being hunted by Police, finally showed up at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters on Tuesday for a confrontation with the ‘witness’, who he had said had information to corroborate the assassination plot.When contracted on Tuesday, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed that there was indeed a confrontation between the ‘witness’ and the complainant. He said this was necessary based on recommendations from the Police’s legal advisers.In a confrontation, the accused and the virtual complainant (in this case the witness and complainant) would relate their version of events in the presence of officers; and the accused either denies or confirms the statements.Given the sensitive nature of the case, Blanhum did not divulge more information; however, he disclosed that the new statements were submitted to the Police’s legal advisers for further recommendations.The statements initially submitted by the complainant and the alleged witness did not match, and as such, Police advisers had recommended a confrontation to clarify the situation.Monetary offerThis publication understands from reliable sources close to the probe that the alleged witness told Police investigators during the confrontation that the complainant had contacted him, and offered a sum of money in exchange for him giving a statement claiming that he (the alleged witness) was present when the two businessmen contacted the complainant about allegedly assassinating the President.According to the source, the complainant had only made the monetary offer after he informed the Police of the assassination plot.Guyana Times was told that the alleged witness refused the offer and had made contact with the Police when the investigation was launched. This publication was unable to determine whether or not the complainant conceded to the statements provided by the alleged witness.FearMeanwhile, another source close to the investigation told Guyana Times that the complainant allegedly owes the businessmen whom he accused in excess of $8 million, which he had borrowed to pay off debts when he first started a mining operation.Independent investigations revealed that his creditors had approached him to enquire about their money; and based on his inability to repay the money and more so out of fear of what the men may be capable of doing, he allegedly levelled the allegation against them.This barber had reportedly worked with the businessmen he implicated for some time prior to opening his own mining concession a few years ago. These businessmen have already been interrogated by members of the Major Crimes Unit of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).MischiefPolice Commissioner Seelall Persaud had told reporters that the Police’s legal minds were to make a determination on whether there was enough evidence to support the allegation of an assassination plot or whether it was just a ploy to create mischief.He, nevertheless, said if the allegation was indeed true, the guilty parties involved could be charged for treason, but if it was a mischievous act, the person who made the allegation could be charged for providing false information to the Police.TV interviewShortly after news broke of the investigations into an alleged assassination plot against the Head of State, the complainant appeared on a local private television station to relate his story.The matter involving the alleged plot to assassinate President David Granger was first brought to light by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, at a weekly post-Cabinet press briefing.In that interview, the barber revealed that he was offered $7 million and given a “long black gun” by a businessman to carry out the job of assassinating the President, but he had declined the offer.Reports indicate that he subsequently filed a complaint with the Police, prompting the investigation which has been ongoing for approximately three weeks.