2008 Tutu Fellow Hopewell Chin'ono was honoured as a winner of the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award in Doha, Qatar. The Zimbabwean journalist and muckraker received the award from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the presence of the UN Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption.
Also present at the ceremony was the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and Under Secretary General, Ghada Waly.
Hopewell said on his Twitter account - which was named in a lawsuit by the Zimbabwean government - that this was an important milestone for him and his country, which was struggling with corruption and abuse. He paid tribute to his lawyers, who had fought for him after he was jailed. He dedicated his award to all victims of corruption in Zimbabwe who died because they were unable to obtain medication and treatment in hospitals.
He was seized in a raid on 20 July, 2020 at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe. On Facebook Live, he managed to capture the moment the security agents entered his house to arrest him. The clip went viral and captured the imagination of the world, making headlines on various leading international news channels and publications. The government seized Hopewell without a warrant and claimed to have jailed him on a charge of inciting violence after he tweeted about a protest being organised by political activist Jacob Ngarivhume. He was sent to remand prison initially and eventually to the notorious Chikurubi maximum-security prison – where he was held amongst the country’s most dangerous convicted criminals.
The raid followed an investigation by Hopewell in which he exposed a $60 million USD coronavirus supplies contract that enriched high-ranking members of the government.
The winners were Sope Williams-Elegbe (United Kingdom) and Ernesto Savona (Italy) for the Academic Research and Education category; the Youth Against Corruption (YAC) institution (Lebanon) and Koalisi Anti Korupsi of Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption (KAKI) (Indonesia) for the Youth Creativity and Engagement category; Hopewell Chin’ono (Zimbabwe) for the Innovation or Investigative Journalism category; Lisa A Kehl (United States) for the Safeguarding Sports from Corruption category; and John Githongo (Kenya) for the Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement category.
You can read a news piece on this at Al Jazeera.