Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who has been constantly denied bail, is in poor health, according to his lawyers.
In a tweet, one of the lawyers, Doug Coltart , said there are looking for a private doctor to check him up at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Chin’ono is facing charges of inciting public violence.
Coltart said, “I have just visited Hopewell Chin’ono at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and can confirm that he is unwell. We have alerted his private doctor who will be attending to him immediately and we will act accordingly based on the medical assessment and advice.”
By Monday evening, it was not clear if the doctor had visited him in his cell following a report that was made to his lawyers by a politician detained at the same prison.
Social media is on fire following reports that Chin’ono is unwell. Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag Campaign, said in a tweet, “Receiving news about Hopewell’s health is extremely worrying. This man is facing the brutal brunt of a vindictive regime that refuses to be challenged by its own citizens. His only crime is reporting corruption.”
London-based educator and political commentator, Dr. Alex Magaisa, also said in a tweet, “Further to my earlier tweet concerning Hopewell Chin’ono. I’m advised that the symptoms he is exhibiting include a fever, muscle aches, headache & distorted taste. I’m advised that a swab was taken & relevant tests are being conducted.”
Prison officials at Chikurubi Maximum Prison were not responding to calls and the Ministry of Information was tightlipped over Chin’ono’s illness.
Chin’ono was arrested a month ago and denied bail following accusations that he incited Zimbabweans to stage public protests over corruption and other issues affecting the southern African nation.
He is detained with MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikala and Tranform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who are facing similar charges.