Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono (L) and Jacob Ngarivhume
21 July 2020
The Zimbabwe police today arrested and detained Hopewell Chin’ono, an awarding-winning journalist, and Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of the political group Transform Zimbabwe. Both are accused of inciting public violence. Chin’ono and Ngarivhume had exposed high-level corruption in Zimbabwe and called for nationwide anti-corruption protests on 31 July.
Chin’ono published a series of Facebook posts exposing alleged connections between President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Collins Mnangagwa, and Drax International, a United Arab Emirates-based company that was awarded a US$60 million contract to supply equipment to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Both Collins Mnangagwa and Drax International issued statements denying any connection between them. The Facebook exposé led to the arrest and dismissal of the health minister, Obadiah Moyo.
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said in a short video that about eight state security agents broke down the door at Chin’ono’s house and detained him without producing a search warrant. Another lawyer, Moses Nkomo, said that he and a colleague were only permitted access to Chin’ono and Ngarivhume at the Harare Central police station after about two hours.