Award-winning journalist and filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono has said his arrest and detention were in response to his exposure of grand corruption within President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s circle.
In a letter that was sent to BBC, he said his arrest did not come as a surprise as hints had been made earlier. He said:
One warning had come about seven weeks earlier, when the spokesman for the ruling party had called me “unscrupulous” and accused me of tarnishing the name of the president’s family.
This was after I’d publicised a Covid-19 procurement scandal involving multi-million dollar contracts awarded to buy supplies at inflated prices – the health minister was then sacked and is facing charges over the allegations.
He also described his prison experiences observing how substandard local prisons are.
Chin’ono’s arrest came after he urged citizens to participate in the foiled 31 July anti-corruption protests that had been convened by opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
Both Chin’ono and Ngarivhume were charged with inciting violence.
Chin’ono is one of the people who exposed grand corruption by some state officials including then Health minister Obadiah Moyo who was subsequently fired.