Hopewell Chin’ono’s Twitter account deleted following his arrest

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Yesterday, prominent Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested by law enforcement agents at his house. Shortly before his arrest the journalist tweeted that the law enforcement agents had made their way to his residence and were harassing his workers.

Shortly after his arrest, his account which wasn’t verified was taken down Twitter users going to the account are only met with a message reading, “This account doesn’t exist try searching for another”.

The fact that Hopewell’s Twitter account wasn’t verified despite multiple calls by Zimbabweans for verification before yesterday’s events is actually quite disappointing.

Hopewell has been vocal of the government and exposed multiple corruption scandals and the expectation by Zimbos on Twitter was that such an important voice would be verified and protected by the social media network.

There is currently a petition on Change.org under the title “Hopewell Chin’ono tweeter account (@daddyhope) must be verified. Zanu Pf wants it blocked.” The petition has a target of 5 000 signatures and currently has 3300+ signatures at the time of writing.

Why that Twitter account is so important

Hopewell was charged with “incitement to participate in public violence” and the basis of those charges are alleged to be based on tweets he made in relation to the July 31 demonstration. The problem with the deletion of his account is the following;

  1. Law enforcement authorities could have deleted the account after arresting Hopewell to make up charges on the basis of tweets that no longer exist or;
  2. Hopewell could be the one responsible for the deletion of his account – that still obstructs the course of justice and makes it harder for the government to appropriately charge him.

I think 1 is likelier than 2 but that’s reflective of a certain bias on my part. Whichever outcome is true is only known to the people involved but it still presents a big challenge and hopefully there is a way for that account to be recovered and if possible verified.



  1. Badvibes

    rather leave the investigations to investigators, and the law to the lawyers. techzim really has no place (or experience) to be making calls on what anything means with regards to people getting arrested or going to court.

    all you’re really doing is talking nonsense and speculating to get some attention

    1. Katiyo

      Ibva iwe, this is right in their lane.

    2. Maxwell Christian

      We are all, whether with a place or experience or lack of it investigators and lawyers of some sort and besides, the platform used by Hopewell is a technological platform, making the arrest and the deletion of Hopewell’s account not only Techzim’s interest, but all our interest. Techzim wrote very well, with all manner of intellectual honesty as reflected inter-alia in the following sentence in the last paragraph:- “I think 1 is likelier than 2 but that’s reflective of a certain bias on my part. “

  2. Xavier Mukodi

    Is it possible for the law enforcement to delete someone’s account?

    1. L. Makombe

      The police does not control Twitter of Facebook or any other social media platform. It is the owners of the accounts or platforms who can delete accounts. Sometimes biased reported is detrimental to readers and there is need for informed writes to write the truth. What I am against and will continue to do is that some people because they are well fed want to incite others to rebel. Instead of telling the same youths to be innovative under these circumstances (some have established car boot markets and home deliveries of commodities), we incite them to demonstrate which in the past has always been violent. Hopewell is well established, check his rural home how developed it is. Has he ever told the youths and his followers how he accomplished that and then try to inspire them to do the same, no, he always people how bad the government is. Dwelling on the shortcomings of others does not make us good at all. Zimbabwe is now filled with hate and negativity and those who encourage them to do eat like ten people. Let us let the police and the law take its course. How many people are arrested every day, have we ever heard the US Embassy and EU screaming, NO, but if one purports to be MDC or so called journalists who write against the government, they rush. That is outright hypocrisy.

      1. Pasi Nevarakashi

        Yes you bafoon they can. Especially if his phone was still logged on. All they need is to take his hand unlock the phone open the Twitter app and delete. Varakashi munonetsa trying to cause confusion.

      2. Joe

        Well said. You are a star. Let’s tell our people to be innovative

      3. Maxwell Christian

        @ L. Makombe, people have different callings in life. Some are called to encourage youths to be innovative and encourage disruptive innovation (Proverbs 8:12) whilst some are called to be social justice activists and expose corruption or be anti-Government as your perceive. It was through the sustained efforts of Hopewell Chin’ono that ex-Minister of Health Obadiah Moyo lost his job. Is it bad to expose corruption? Is exposing corruption being anti-Government?

      4. Shamiso

        Hopewell tells things as they are, he tells the youth to stand up for what is rightfully theres. Selling in a car boot might be innovative for you but we have very intelligent and capable young people we should be aiming to start our own Silicon Valley’s but we cannot do that with a government that has an agenda to clip its own citizens wings. We are educated but now we are expected to sell airtime. Comeon we as a people should have more ambition for our country. Hopewell has done what any investigative journalist should do uncover the rot within the government. He is established he has never hidden the fact that he is a goat farmer or that he has lived and worked abroad. He can easily pack his bags and relocate to any country of his choosing because he is well connectedZ yet here he is speaking out against a bad government.

      5. Matemai

        You think it’s about who controls Twitter & FaceBook? You are soo dum in this age, that you do not know that there is something callled “cyber hacking”? What the hack is wrong with you?

    2. Maxwell Christian

      If they obtain access to your account &/or passwords they can delete it, just as if someone gets access to your WhatsApp account, they can delete it or unistall it.

  3. Anonymous

    True Hero in my eyes. Not a coward, thief or 2 face person. He was man enough not like the rest of us who sit on the side walk! Only a thief will say nasty things about him.

  4. Anonymous

    This is an IT matter and tech zim are best positioned to comment on matters of technology actually both the police and lawyers might need tech zim to assist with IT Expertise please respect our profession

  5. Taffy Luke

    Do you think Hopewell is that stupid?Remember he said he had whistle blowers within,that is the biggest information they were and are looking for.Hopewell as a trained journalist knows to protect his sources.I am certain he had everything covered.Hopewell was and is ten steps ahead of these buffons.Come on imagine he never tried to run away to seek exile anywhere,which he could have,but he stayed.There are more players than Hopewell,if they muzzle him,you will still see the information they are trying to block still come out.As they say the “Pen is mightier than a sword”(gun).Here is the lesson never fight Zanu Pf on its turf(they only know guns)Rather use written information against them.They abducted him and within few hours they let us know they had him,simply because the news went viral all over the world,so they could kill him.while the world was watching.

  6. Wonini

    Achataura hake. Regai zvakadaro.