In a statement read by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvanga on Saturday, the government said freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) leader Jacob Ngarivhume were not arrested for exposing corruption but for planning an unconstitutional seizure of power.
Mutsvangwa also dismissed claims that Chin’ono was abducted from his Chisipite home but was lawfully arrested by law enforcement agents.
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She said Chin’ono was not the only journalist who had written about corruption, yet no other journalist has been arrested for that. Mutsvangwa said:
For the avoidance of doubt, Hopewell Chin’ono was not abducted. He was lawfully arrested by the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
And he was not arrested for exposing corruption. He was arrested for using his social media accounts to incite Zimbabweans to violently overthrow the Government.
Even though Hopewell Chin’ono writes about corruption he is not unique in this regard. All the Newspapers in Zimbabwe, including independent publications, have written extensively about corruption in Government and private sector.
Mutsvangwa added that the arrest of Chin’ono and Ngarivhume has nothing to do with their anti-corruption stance but their ploy to violently destabilize the country and unconstitutionally seize power.
Mutsvangwa said Western embassies’ reactions to the arrest of Chin’ono and Ngarivhume betray their fear that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economic reforms have taken root.
Their actions are premised on the fear that President Mnangagwa and his deep seamed economic and financial reforms have taken root.
That they are beginning to pay off in reviving the economy and rekindling hope.
… Please why can’t you give Africa a break? As Zimbabwe, we are saying: WE CAN’T BREATHE.