Chin’ono to give evidence in empty gallery

By ZBC Reporter
ACTIVIST, Hopewell Chin’ono will this Thursday give evidence in an empty gallery after the court granted the state request to have the case be heard in camera citing the protection of prisons security.
Chin’ono had approached the Harare Magistrates Court for a fresh bail application on changed circumstances.
However, the state made an application that Chin’ono’s case be heard in camera since the evidence he will present in court is likely to compromise the security of both prison officers and inmates.
Chin’ono through his defence counsel led by Beatrice Mtetwa and Gift Mtisi opposed the application citing that an application for a case to be heard in camera is only to the discretion of the accused person.
The defence counsel also argued that this infringes on the rights of the accused to a fair trial.
In its ruling, the court noted that the security of prisons is crucial and therefore should not be jeopardised.
Meanwhile, another fresh bail application on changed circumstances for Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume will be heard on Monday after it was revealed that the assigned magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe is on another assignment.
This was confirmed by his legal representative Mr Moses Nkomo this Wednesday.
“Yes we made a fresh application on changed circumstances but this did not take place because the trial Magistrate is not around. Probably on Monday,” he said.
Chin’ono and Ngarivhume are facing allegations of inciting the public to stage violent demonstrations on July 31 this year.
Lawyers representing political activist Hopewell Chin’ono and leader of Transform Zimbabwe Jacob Ngarivhume earlier in the week have been falsely claiming that their clients are being discriminated in prison as they await trial on charges of inciting public violence.
The duo’s lawyers, notably Ms Beatrice Mtetwa and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have been casting aspersions on the correctional services after Chin’ono and Ngarivhume were transferred to Chikurubi Maximum prison, going as far as sensationally claiming that their clients could be poisoned.
ZPCS had to respond by explaining that the measures restricting some liberties at the Chikurubi maximum prison were in line with Covid-19 guidelines and aimed at protecting the spread of the virus to inmates.