Harare (New Ziana) – Detained political activist, Hopewell Chin’ono’s bail appeal which was due to be heard on Wednesday has been postponed to Thursday, his lawyers said.
Chin’ono, who was arrested last week on allegations of inciting public violence, filed an appeal for bail at the High Court on Monday after being denied freedom by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna.
Nduna remanded Chin’ono in custody to August 7 this year, citing that he was a danger to the public and would violate the law if released.
Chin’ono is thought to be one of the people at the centre of plans by the opposition and some civic groups to hold street protests on July 31.
“False start to bail hearing of Hopewell Chin’ono as record of proceedings from magistrate’s court has not been brought to High Court,” his legal representatives, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) tweeted.
Chin’ono is said to have allegedly used social media to incite the public to engage in street protests on July 31, under the guise of fighting top-level corruption.
Another activist, Jacob Ngarivhume was also arrested on the same charges and denied bail.
He was remanded in custody to August 6.
His lawyers also filed an appeal for bail at the High Court.
“On Tuesday, Moses Nkomo of ZLHR filed a bail appeal at High Court seeking the release from prison custody of Ngarivhume who was remanded in custody on various charges including incitement to commit public violence.”
Authorities are also concerned that the planned demonstrations would put the lives of people at risk as there are no guarantees that protesters would observe Covid-19 restrictions such as social distancing.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases, particularly local transmissions which have now overtaken imported ones.