Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been awarded the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award in Doha, Qatar.
Chin’ono, 51, won the award for Innovation/Investigative Journalism. The award recognises individuals, organisations and countries contributing to the global fight against corruption.
The award-winning journalist, a vocal critic of the government, has been detained three times and held for several weeks in prison. He was first arrested and charged in July 2020 for tweeting in support of an antigovernment protest. He was arrested again in November 2020 and in January 2021 on charges of obstructing justice and on allegations of communicating false information.
In December 2021, Zimbabwe High Court dropped charges of inciting violent antigovernment protests against Chin’ono. He was also cleared of communicating false information by the same court.
Chin’ono said the award is an important milestone for him and Zimbabwe.
“This is an important milestone not just for me, but for my country, which is struggling to move ahead because of unprecedented looting of public funds and abuse of the judiciary.
“I want to pay great tribute to my social media followers, who have been a great source of information and support throughout my persecution by the Zimbabwean government. I also want to thank my lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Doug Colart, Harrison Nkomo, Gift Mtisi and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.”
“I dedicate this award to all the victims of corruption in Zimbabwe who have died because there was no medication in hospitals, and the 2500 women who die annually because there is no maternity theaters, and those who die from cancer because there is no radiotherapy machines,” said Chin’ono.
The award ceremony was attended by Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, senior UN officials and Qatari members of the Supreme Committee of the award, among others.
The award is presented annually since 2016. Other recipients include Prof. Lisa A Kehl from the US , who won the award for Safeguarding Sports From Corruption, and John Githongo from Kenya, who won the award for Lifetime/Outstanding Achievement.