Prominent Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono arrested, again

Hopewell Chin'ono

Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin'ono.

Photo credit: Jekesai Njikizana | AFP

Police in Zimbabwe on Friday arrested prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono for the third time in six months over his tweets.

Mr Chin’ono, a critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, posted on his Twitter account that police had taken him from his home in Harare.

His lawyers said he had been charged for communicating falsehoods after he tweeted earlier in the week that police had beaten an infant to death while enforcing Covid-19 regulations.

A video allegedly showing a police officer being confronted by a mother carrying the seemingly lifeless baby went viral on social media.

Police later said the baby and the mother were examined by health officials after the incident and it was proved that they were not hurt.

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the police spokesperson, confirmed Mr Chin’ono's arrest but could not provide more details.

The United States embassy in Harare said it was concerned about the journalist's welfare.

Mr Chin’ono was out on bail on two other charges over his tweets after he was arrested last year.

In December last year, he was freed by the  High Court after spending two weeks in remand prison on charges of obstructing justice.

The journalist spent over 40 days in a Harare maximum security prison after he was arrested in July for allegedly inciting protests through Twitter posts.

Mr Chin’ono says he is being persecuted for speaking out against corruption cases where President Mnangagwa’s family was implicated.