By Mary Taruvinga
INCARCERATED journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has said he is worried that fellow inmates and prison officers are being exposed to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Chin’ono made the claims at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts Tuesday where he appeared before Magistrate Lazini Ncube for continuation of hearing in a case in which the scribe is challenging his arrest.
He was arrested last Friday on charges of peddling falsehoods after he tweeted that a child was struck dead with a baton stick by a police officer at an illegal pickup point along Second Street in Harare.
Chin’ono arrived at the courts Tuesday in leg irons and handcuffs.
In the prison truck, which brought him to court, there was also MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala who is facing a similar charge. According to Chin’ono, there were other 22 inmates who were dropped at the High Court.
However, Ncube last Saturday ordered Chin’ono to be brought to court alone as the journalist feared he might have contracted Covid-19 while he was in South Africa.
He was arrested while in self-isolation at his home.
“The prison authorities are violating the court order which says I must be in the truck alone. This shows how disrespectful the government is to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines,” Chin’ono called out to journalists gathered while prison officers pushed him into the holding cells.
The journalist said Monday, he would not apply for bail as his arrest was unlawful and would challenge that in court.