Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube on Thursday denied freelance journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, bail after ruling that the State’s fears that he will commit other offences while on bail are well-founded.
Chin’ono was arrested and charged with peddling falsehoods after tweeting that a police officer had beaten up a little baby who instantly died. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who are representing Chin’ono posted on Twitter giving an update on his case. Said ZLHR:
Hopewell Chin’ono was remanded to court on 18 February. His lawyers will now petition the High Court to appeal against Magistrate Ncube’s ruling.
Hopewell Chin’ono’s tweet followed a video which went viral on social media which suggested a police officer had beaten the little baby with a baton to death. The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) later issued a statement dismissing the reports that the officer had beaten the child and its mother.
ZRP suggested the baby and its mother were hit by glass fragments from a commuter omnibus whose windscreen the officer had smashed. The duo allegedly sustained mild injuries.
ZRP also disputed allegations that the baby had died.
Later, a woman alleged to be the woman whose baby had allegedly died was interviewed by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) TV and confirmed the police narrative. Some members of the public, however, say the woman who was interviewed by ZBC was not the same woman who appeared in the video that went viral.