Maverick Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa (Norton), has characterised freelance journalist and political activist Hopewell Chin’ono’s continued imprisonment as persecution.
Chin’ono was arrested nearly three weeks ago after he exposed corruption in the Ministry of Health and Child Care leading to Minister Obediah Moyo’s sacking.
While the government insists that Chin’ono was arrested for inciting public violence, observers have questioned the motive behind his continued incarceration after Justice Tawanda Chitapi denied him bail on Thursday.
The general sentiment is that Chin’ono is being punished for exposing corruption and he is being used as an example to scare potential corruption whistle-blowers.
Mliswa likened the treatment of Chin’ono by Zimbabwe’s justice system to how the racist Ian Smith regime treated freedom fighters in the 1970s and 80s. Said Mliswa:
The High Court decision on Hopewell Chin’ono is certainly disturbing. What I do know is that the process may be protracted but one day he will be out. From my experience, take heart Hopewell, adjust your mindset to the fact and above all God will prevail
I’ve confidence his legal team will do what’s necessary. I’ve never believed in wanton incarnation as a means to an end regardless.
Can he honestly be considered a flight risk? It borders on persecution more than anything else, it’s something I’ve always spoken out against
Detentions during the Smith regime did not stop the likes of President Mnangagwa, Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, the late RGM et al from pushing on for this country. A mindset change in this regard is needed.
Mliswa is, however, not new to controversy as he regularly issues contradictory statements. On Thursday, he called for the militarisation of society, saying Zimbabweans lack “discipline”.