Incarcerated journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s lawyer Taona Makura has raised complaints against prison officers for literally dragging his client out of Chikurubi maximum prison despite instruction from his medical doctor that he be kept in isolation pending COVID-19 test results.
Makura told the Harare magistrates court that the prison officers manhandled his client to come to court for his routine remand against his doctor’s advice.
“The accused ought not to be in court today, he is unwell and according to his doctor who visited him yesterday said he has coronavirus symptoms.
“But the prison officers literally dragged him out of his cell, manhandled him and his doctor, who is a physician was supposed to see him this morning regarding this matter for further tests and to take medication. Now he cannot take his medication because he is in court,” said Nyamakura.
Nyamakura also told the court that now he has appeared before court it means everyone is now exposed should he tests positive for COVID-19.
He also demanded answers from the state on why they had to bring Chin’ono before the court when he was visibly unwell.
However, the state dismissed the allegations of being sick saying he refused medical attention from prison doctors though they admitted that he had a higher than normal fever and a headache.
But Nyamakura shot back and questioned the competence of the prison doctor after declaring Chin’ono fit.
Chin’ono was remanded to 14 September 2020 with Magistrate Ngoni Nduna requesting a medical report for him to make a ruling on his lawyer’s complaints.
Nyamakura notified the court that they will file an application for Chin’ono’s removal from remand if the state fails to provide a trial date.