Jailed journalist Hopewell Chin’ono falls sick

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By Costa Nkomo

INCARCERATED journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has fallen sick at Chikurubi Maximum Prison where he has been held for more than a month.

Chin’ono was arrested 20 July 2020 on charges of inciting public violence.

He is being accused of using his social media handles to encourage citizens to join anti-government protests which were planned for July 31.

The protests were foiled by the State which deployed heavily during the period leading up to protest day.

Douglas Coltart, one of Chin’ono’s lawyers had to rush to Chikurubi Maximum Prison Monday, reportedly after a tip-off from MDC Alliance deputy chair Job Sikhala that the journalist was sick in prison. Sikhala is also in remand prison facing similar charges.

“I have just visited Hopewell Chin’ono at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and can confirm that he is unwell.

“We have alerted his private doctor who will be attending to him immediately and we will act accordingly based on the medical assessment and advice,” Coltart wrote on Twitter Monday.

In a later interview with, Coltart said the journalist has been unwell since Sunday.

“He has not been well since Sunday and the doctor is attending to him now. We will only be able to know what the problem is, upon the doctor’s advice.”

Chin’ono has, during his numerous court appearances, complained of poor conditions under detention.

Two weeks ago, Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna allowed the journalist to inform the court over his prison nightmare but on camera.

There were concerns if Chin’ono were to testify in an open court, he may end up revealing sensitive information in violation of prison security protocols.

The Harare scribe had claimed his rights were being abused inside prison and these include confiscation of his goggles by prison authorities who feared the Covid-19 protective item could have been fitted with spying technology.

Chin’ono last appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court last week looking under the weather as he has been living on biscuits and water in prison.

This comes after prison officials have put restrictions on relatives who intended to bring Chin’ono food.

Chin’ono’s 4th bail application ruling will be handed down by the High Court this Wednesday.