By Nancy Samuriwo
JOURNALIST Hopewell Chin’ono has clarified why he is campaigning for the main opposition MDC Alliance and its leader Nelson Chamisa, even though he says he is not a party member.
Chin’ono’s close relationship with the opposition came under the radar last week, after it was alleged by Presidential spokesperson George Charamba that the prominent journalist held private discussions with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as well as State spies in the aftermath of the 2018 elections.
In the meeting, Chin’ono allegedly sold out safe houses where opposition activists were taking refuge, it was stated. However, Chin’ono, who says he has since stopped supporting President Mnangagwa, said that was during the time he thought Mnangagwa would reform.
In an interaction on Tuesday morning, Chin’ono explained why he is pushing for the MDC Alliance to win the 2023 elections. This was after he was asked if he was a member of the opposition party considering that he was more accessible than the party’s secretary-general, Chalton Hwende.
“I am not a member of the MDC Alliance, but I am a friend of the party because their values for freedom, democracy, a free society and equality dovetail with mine too!” Chin’ono explained.
He called on more people to consider joining the party led by Chamisa as members. Those who were not yet ready for membership could take up the position of being “friends” of the party, Chin’ono added.
Chin’ono recently admitted that apart from being a journalist, he was a political activist, adding that there was nothing wrong with that.
“Yes, I am an activist and there is nothing wrong with that, let us say you are a journalist and you have a child who is disabled and you campaign for disability rights, what is wrong with that? I am campaigning for a better Zimbabwe,” he told The NewsHawks newspaper in an interview.
He said there was nothing unethical about him expressing his personal views.
“The assumption that I have overshot any boundaries means that I do not have any rights as a citizen to express my views in how the country is being run. So, it is like yourself you are journalists, there are things which are close to your heart and when you speak about them you are not crossing the boundaries of ethical journalism, you are simply expressing yourself,” said Chin’ono.