20 JULY 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Good Governance Africa denounces in the strongest possible terms the reported arrest of Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono ahead of mass demonstrations against corruption planned for 31 July 2020.
News reports indicate that Chin’ono was taken into custody by Zimbabwean police this morning.
His attorney, Beatrice Mtetwa, has described the arrest as an abduction by eight state security officials. Chin’ono himself recorded the incident on his phone and sent out a distress signal on social media.
Chin’ono is an award-winning international journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is a Harvard University Nieman Fellow and a CNN African Journalist of the Year winner. He is also a fellow at the University of Oxford’s Africa Leadership Institute.
His fearless reporting and effective use of social media to bypass state control of information has angered Zimbabwe authorities. He has written on the subject of media freedom in our special edition of our journal Africa in Fact on Zimbabwe’s constitution, available here.
From a governance perspective, GGA believes that shutting down the space for freedom of expression is unacceptable.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental right and GGA believes a free and independent media is an essential pillar of good governance.
We therefore call on Zimbabwe’s government to observe the Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls on African states to recognise the indivisibility of press freedom and their responsibility to respect their commitments to African and international protocols upholding the freedom, independence and safety of the press.
For further comment please contact:
Chris Maroleng: + 27 073 274 6501 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ross Harvey (Director of Research and Programmes) +27 071 771 2814 (email@example.com)
Chris Maroleng is Global Advisor and the SADC Executive Director of Good Governance Africa. He is an accomplished public and corporate affairs practitioner with close to 20 years working experience, specialising in strategy, research, media, communication, security, corporate governance and public affairs. Prior to his GGA appointment, Chris was the Chief Operations Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), where he was responsible for the organisation’s turnaround strategy, improving the SABC’s cash balance, enforcing governance and driving efficiencies within the operations cluster, as well as promoting a performance culture for optimal outcomes. With a sound understanding of what drives a successful business, as Group Executive for Corporate Affairs at Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, he assisted the company through a tumultuous period during which it was faced with a huge penalty that could have placed the organisation in an untenable situation. Chris also spent six years at eNews Channel Africa (eNCA), where he was Africa Editor, and head of department for the Africa division. As an integral member of the eNews founding management team, key among his successes during his tenure was the establishment of the eNews Africa division. Prior to joining eNews, Chris worked at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in the African Security Analysis Programme (ASAP), as a senior researcher in peace and security issues in Africa, and where he published extensive reports related to African affairs. Chris holds a MA in International and Comparative Politics from the University of Cape Town. He was also a Menell Media Fellow, at Duke University’s Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy.