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Hodzi challenges Chin’ono acquittal

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Kumbirai Hodzi has approached the High Court challenging the acquittal of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono by Justice Jesta Charehwa in a case where the scribe was being accused of publishing falsehoods.

Chin’ono early this year allegedly shared on his Twitter handle a video of a woman who accused a police officer of fatally striking her baby.

He was being charged with publishing falsehoods, but Justice Charehwa ruled that the journalist was charged under a non-existent law and acquitted him.

The law under which Chin’ono was charged, section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, was struck off by the Constitutional Court in 2014.

Hodzi, in an affidavit through Fungai Isaac Nyahunzvi, stated that he did not get a chance to respond to Chin’ono’s appeal which was upheld.

Nyahunzvi said he had taken over the prosecution of an appeal in which the Prosecutor-General was against the temporary release of Chin’ono’s passport.

“No opposing papers were filed on behalf of the second respondent. The matter was thus treated as unopposed and a default judgment was subsequently granted,” read part of Hodzi’s affidavit.

He said there was need for him to consult with his superiors on whether the Supreme Court appeal should be pursued since it had been overtaken by events.

Hodzi said Chin’ono’s application for review against the magistrate’s decision placing him on remand was made on March 23 2020, the same date the Supreme Court appeal was supposed to be withdrawn, and he ended up mixing up the two cases.

  • Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

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