BY STAFF REPORTER
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is reportedly charging Hopewell Chin’ono using a law that in another case in 2014 was struck off from the statute by the Constitutional Court, Law fundi Alex Magaisa has said.
In a Twitter thread Magaisa echoed that the Mnangagwa administration was politically persecuting the investigative journalist and government critic under the guise of prosecution.
“PoliceZimbabwe are charging journalist Hopewell Chin’[email protected] under a provision that was struck off from the statute by the Constitutional Court in 2014. In the Chimakure case, the court held that s. 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code was VOID.
“The regime will probably say it was declared void under the old Constitution. But this would be a silly argument. Once the provision was struck off, it no longer exists. The only way it would exist is if the legislature re-enacted it. None of that happened. There’s NO offence!
“It’s another demonstration of the fact that it’s political persecution packaged as a prosecution. How do the police and prosecutors bring a charge under a non-existent law? It’s stupid, embarrassing and unprofessional but this is what happens in an authoritarian regime,” said Magaisa.
Chin’ono was picked up at his home yesterday by the police and charged with tweeted false reports after he commented on a viral story of a ZRP officer who had allegedly struck a baby strapped on its mother’s back.
ZRP has since released a statement saying medical personnel had confirmed that the baby seen in the social media video was alive and was not hit by a baton stick. In the statement ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said contrary to speculations, the police officer in question smashed a windscreen and the fragments hit the mother and baby.