Prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono incitement of violence charges have been dropped. The High Court of Zimbabwe yesterday, the 6th of December, dropped charges against Hopewell for incitement of public violence on the 31st of July. It is alleged that he used his Twitter account to undermine the government, incite public violence, and obstruction of justice. He had spent 15 months in jail.
In his ruling, the high court of Zimbabwe ruled that the failure of the charge sheet to specify the exact words of incitement renders its nullity. Justice Siyabonga Musithu said, “ it was more like a fishing expedition on the part of the state." Hopewell argues that his crime was speaking against the corruption of the government.
Hopewell Chin’óno is an award-winning journalist, CNN African journalist of the year. He is known widely for criticizing the Zimbabwean government and calling out corruption in African countries. He has also called out the xenophobic tendencies of South Africans, moreover speaking against the recent travel apartheid by EU and American countries. Chin’ono is very popular in social media streets and very influential on African countries' issues.
His case was represented by prominent lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Doug Coltart, and Gift Mtisi and the legal contribution of Zimbabwean Human Rights lawyers. The media and journalism community in Zimbabwean has drawn out that the fight was against Hopewell and the entire journalism community.
In his response to questions about whether he will celebrate his acquitment, he replied, “ it is pointless to celebrate the judiciary after such persecution.