Harare (New Ziana) – The High Court has granted $10 000 bail to Hopewell Chin’ono, acceding to an appeal by his defence that a change in circumstances warranted his release from remand prison.
Chin’ono was arrested in July on charges of inciting public violence, after he allegedly urged people-through social media- to participate in banned street protests against the government.
The protests, the latest in a series called by the opposition and allied civic groups, were penciled for July 31, but flopped dismally nationwide.
Chin’ono had applied for bail at the High Court on the basis of changed circumstances, given that the date of the protests he, and another activist Jacob Ngarivhume, are accused of mobilising people to take part in had passed.
The Magistrates court had earlier dismissed the application because, in its view, the protest plans were not necessarily time-bound but ongoing.
“Justice Chitapi sets free freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono after granting him $10 000 bail and gagging him from posting messages on social media and to report to police two times a week until finalisation of his matter,” his legal representatives the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said.
Earlier, another High Court judge had freed Jacob Ngarivhume who was also arrested on the same charges in July.