By Leopold Munhende
TARGETED freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says detectives from the police Law and Order division pulled him out of self-quarantine at home when they arrested him this week over a fresh offence.
Chin’ono says he had taken time to go into self-quarantine after having been exposed to Covid-19 in South Africa recently.
The journalist said this Saturday while arriving at the Harare Magistrates’ Court accompanied by detectives.
He is being accused of peddling falsehoods concerning a recent incident in which a police officer is alleged to have beaten up a mother and injured her baby.
The defiant journalist claimed continued persecution by the state, adding he was being charged under an offence that had been struck off by the Constitutional Court.
“You can see my political persecution continues. I am being charged by a law that was struck off by the Constitutional Court,” he said.
“They are saying I commented on something that was a falsehood. It is political persecution; it has nothing to do with the law.
“My doctor put me into quarantine, but the police pulled me out of quarantine, violating lockdown regulations.
“I was exposed to Covid-19 on a recent trip to South Africa.”
The vocal journalist is being charged for communicating falsehoods under Chapter 9:23 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The law was struck off in 2009.
He said he did not fault junior officers for his continued persecution as they were acting on orders by their superiors working with politicians.
“The police are just being used by politicians; this story was reported by news organisations, but they picked me out of everyone else.
“The ordinary cops there did not want to arrest me. They were forced to arrest me because they know the law does not exist, but they work on orders.”
Chin’ono was remanded in custody to this Monday.
This is his third arrest since July last year.
The journalist continues to unsettle authorities in Harare through relentless spotlight on state excesses using his social media handles.