Zimbabwe again denies bail to journalist in protest case; government denies crisis

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Zimbabwe's High Court on Thursday denied bail to a journalist who was arrested last month for supporting anti-govermnent protests, in a case that has sparked an outcry over muzzling of the press.

Hopewell Chin'ono, a freelance journalist and critic of the government, was charged with inciting violence last month, together with opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume.

Security forces deployed last Friday to thwart protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government's record on corruption and a worsening economic crisis.

South Africa said it was concerned by reports of rights violations in Zimbabwe and its international relations minister had spoken to Zimbabwean foreign minister about the issue.

The government said allegations of human rights abuses were false and there was no crisis in Zimbabwe.

"Neither has there been any abduction or 'war' on citizens," government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said in a statement.

Judge Tawanda Chitapi upheld the ruling of a lower court that denied Chin'ono bail last month. The judge deferred politician Ngarivhume's bail ruling to Friday.

Human rights lawyers say authorities have arrested dozens of activists over Friday's protests and abducted and tortured others. The government denies this.

Several activists say they are in hiding from police.

Award-winning novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, who is free on bail after being arrested on Friday, said Zimbabweans were under a state "chokehold".

Critics say Mnangagwa is using the cover of a Covid-19 lockdown to silence critics as anger grows over 737% inflation - which has brought back memories of hyperinflation under former President Robert Mugabe a decade ago - a collapsing health sector and shortage of public transport.

In a speech on Tuesday, Mnangagwa said the economy was under attack from local and foreign enemies.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Until the matric exams are over, my family is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Self-isolating to ensure we don't miss any exams
12% - 126 votes
Following Covid-19 safety protocols, but still going out like normal
55% - 572 votes
Business as usual, we're not worried about the virus
33% - 350 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.29
(+0.40)
ZAR/GBP
21.08
(+0.37)
ZAR/EUR
18.96
(+0.79)
ZAR/AUD
11.43
(+0.76)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.55)
Gold
1876.60
(+0.49)
Silver
23.50
(+1.02)
Platinum
844.00
(-0.53)
Brent Crude
38.07
(-3.48)
Palladium
2207.66
(+0.59)
All Share
51684.70
(-0.41)
Top 40
47472.92
(-0.22)
Financial 15
9459.76
(-3.04)
Industrial 25
73439.58
(+1.04)
Resource 10
47245.91
(-1.21)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo