By Shorai Murwira
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono ‘s application of exemption of ‘inciting public violence’ charges have been delayed after presiding magistrate failed to appear.
Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guuriro did not appear for the ruling and it was said that she was attending to urgent administrative duties.
Through his lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa, Gift Mutisi and Doug Coltart, Chin’ono is challenging charge against him saying they do not constitute an offence.
“We were here for the ruling on Hopewell Chin’ono ‘s case but the magistrate who was supposed to hand down the ruling is unavailable and she will only be here on the 26 of May.”
“We had filed an application on that we are not accepting the charges against him on the basis that they do not disclose an offence,” said Coltart, one of the lawyers representing Chin’ono.
The freelance journalist and a government critic was arrested in July 2020 for inciting public violence for allegedly helping to push for the ‘ZANU PF must go’ campaign.
However, since then, Chin’ono has been facing arrests on different allegations and among them was publishing falsehoods against the police, a charge which the High Court squashed saying it no longer exist in the Zimbabwean constitution.