By Dr Masimba Mavaza
I read through the article by George Shire stating facts about Hopewell Chin’ono and it made perfect sense.
Hopewell Rugoho-Chin’ono is a Harvard University-trained Zimbabwean journalist. He has won numerous awards in journalism and has worked in both print and broadcasting journalism. He is currently employed by the ITV.
Hopewell wrote an article against former President Robert Mugabe which made him a darling of the USA and became the USA government contact point on Zimbabwe. He embraced the YSA foreign policy on Zimbabwe and Chin’ono’s writings assisted the USA to make decisions on Zimbabwe. Hopewell’s rise to fame, which earned him accolades and his ‘made in the US’ point of self identification came about from writing about Robert Mugabe to the satisfaction of the Western gaze. The decisions to sanction Zimbabwe by the USAwere largely based on the articles by Chin’ono. The label ‘international repute’ is about how he made negative opinion, that and nothing more. He is America’s reputed point of contact and his opinion on Zimbabwe and it leaders has been given more weight by the Americans. He is not A journalist who covers ‘international news’ in the true meaning of ‘international’. He is an opinion writer but doing it for one particular country, the USA.
This is the reason why Hopewell is made an instant hero by America and the more reason why it is America which is pushing other countries to act against Zimbabwe. In other words, Chin’ono manages to attract world-class attention even if he is silent. George Shire made a very important observation when he said “Hopewell’s output is ‘Harare News’ and Harare is not Zimbabwe, the continent, let alone international. My political beef with him is with his enthusiasm for American foreign policy on Zimbabwe.”
Hopewell represents the colonial mindset and in his mind a Zimbabwean can never run a country. He sees nothing wrong with Pompeo’s idea of ‘reforms’ which would be tantamount to rewriting the Zimbabwean constitution and goes beyond the compensation of the developments white farmers made to the land, and wants to see all the land ‘returned’ to white farmers and to a land distribution map of the 1980s. Chin’ono works to please his paymasters who wish him to advance the narrative that the only solution to Zimbabwe’s problems is when the land is given back to the white men. That is simply unacceptable. When it comes to ZIDERA Chin’ono agreed with America and he celebrated the sanctions on Zimbabwe. Hopewell speaks from the same script as the USA and this has made him a darling of the States.
He has worked against anything Zimbabwean for a long time. Regardless of his treasonous adventures he was not arrested for this. But these are not the reasons why he has been arrested. It is a straightforward lie that Hopewell is the only investigative journalist who stepped on anybody’s toes. Nor is he the only journalist who has brought up cases of corruption.
It is very true that there are a lot of corruption cases in the country. To that end the Zimbabwean government has made public declarations of war against corruption. So Chin’ono is not the only journalist who has written about corruption. It should be known that all his disclosures were not the result of investigative journalism. Chin’ono was simply given the information which he fed them on his Twitter account.
There are many journalists in Zimbabwe from hostile and friendly papers who have written about corruption and they have not been arrested or threatened. Hopewell Chin’ono has behaved like a demi god in that he accused many people without evidence. He has taken after his bosses in America who accuse everybody on earth except themselves. Chin’ono has been accused by many for smearing people without providing the evidence to back the claims he makes or giving those people the right of reply before his sensational so-called whistleblowing.
So the narrative which is being thrown around about Chinono is wrong. He is not being persecuted for exposing corruption. One may ask, since when did America become so interested in corruption in Zimbabwe to the extent of putting their weight towards exposing it. We need to look beyond the print.
After ‘exposing’ the suspected corruption the government investigated and the law is taking its course. The truth of the matter is that Hopewell was given information about the PPEs by the senior Civil Servant who was having fights with the Minister of Health.
This played in the hands of Chin’ono and his paymasters. He then was connected to the investigators in Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission. These investigators have worked closely with the former minister of Information Jonathan Moyo. They have kept that closeness hence Jonathan Moyo was ahead of all current information in the so-called Draxegate. Moyo then formed a stronger link with Chinono. Remember they had worked together before.
So Moyo and Chin’ono shared notes thats why their Tweets were verbatim.
When Chin’ono realised that he has been taken seriously in his whistleblowing escapade he moved away from being an investigative journalist to a political activist.
There is nothing wrong for Chin’ono to front a course he believes in, only that he is fronting a course which is not his. He is simply being an American agent. Still he was not arrested for that.
Chin’ono entangled himself in an illegality disguised as whistle blowing.
He incited people to come together and demonstrate against a government which was constitutionally elected.
Chin’ono originated a hush tag which says “ZANU PF MUST GO” that point he became a political activist. Then he goes on to encourage people to congregate against the COVID laws. This was a crime. After his arrest he refused to give a promise that he will not break the law until the case is over. He could not give that assurance and the court had no choice but to keep him safe in the holding cells. This was for his own safety and the safety of the nation.
George Shire observes in his article that “His electronic fingerprints were all over the place in self styling himself as agent provocateur and allowed his public persona to be seen as somebody inciting others to commit violence. That is why he is in trouble.”
This is confirmed by the High Court in the bail ruling.
The message in the twitter is a deliberate misinformation and it is being crafted by Jonathan Moyo who is a sworn Munangagwa enemy. His reasons for spreading falsewoods are clear and must not be confused with human rights championing. Of all the people on earth Jonathan Moyo must not pretend to be a human rights activist. He has a grudge with Mnangagwa he hopes to settle.
We have two eloquent writers, experts in falsehoods, one powered by a grudge and hate and the other powered by money. Then we have the blind followers in the background and a powerful nation which has been scheming a revenge on a little nation. How do you expect Zimbabwe to succeed. The only weapon which will assist Zimbabwe is the People themselves. Some noble journalists have been compromised and are refusing to see the truth from all this smoke screen.
There is no abuse at all in Zimbabwe. If you know any critics of Zimbabwean government who have been abducted as opposed to being arrested please tell us who they are. If you know anybody who has ‘disappeared’ and never to be seen again since Mnangagwa came to power, please let us know. The reality is since the advent of the second republic Zimbabwe is not drifting towards an authoritarian coercive pole. What this government faces are it’s mid-term blues compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, project regime change 2 and ‘sleepers’ of the US, hell-bent on generating dissent in the country. Pompeo, Donald Trump’s hard man the US Secretary of State is quoted in Bloomberg advocating for an uprising in Zimbabwe. He boldly says nothing short of returning the land to the whites will make Zimbabwe governable.
America has declared without shame that they will not rest until Zimbabwe returns the land to the former colonisers. The most painful thing is that most Zimbabweans especially in Diaspora have joined the chorus against their mother land. Zimbabwe’s political crisis is very evident in the social media.
It is Zimbabweans who are demonising their own nation.
Zimbabwe’s economy is not doing great but this is not corrected by the back biting and selling out of the nation. Zimbabwe is the only country we can call ours in the whole world. We need to stand up and protect and defend our sovereignty.
Yes, there are bad apples in the government. There are corrupt people in the government but corruption is not solved on Twitter.
The talk of illegality is a fuss. The opposition took their illegitimacy to the highest court in the land. Mnangagwa was the people’s choice and the courts’ reason. Any illegitimacy was solved and settled by court.
Zimbabwean problems can only be solved by Zimbabweans not by AU not USA not by Botswana or EEF.
Journalists must learn to be responsible in their reporting they must not be swayed by the wind of revenge being blown by Jonathan Moyo.
Zimbabwean government must grow up and remove the weeds in the fields.
The former dear President Mugabe was right when he cried that “Zimbabwe will never be a Colony again.”