Renowned Nigerian investigative journalist and publisher of the West African Weekly, David Hundeyin, has confirmed his safe arrival after facing illegal detention by the Zimbabwean government during his recent trip.
Hundeyin, widely recognized for his fearless pursuit of stories uncovering governance issues, corruption, and human rights abuses in Nigeria and beyond, encountered trouble upon arrival at the Harare International Airport. The Zimbabwean Immigration service detained him, alleging that he did not possess a valid visa for entry into the country.
Taking to Twitter to raise the alarm, Hundeyin wrote, “I landed in Zimbabwe earlier today, and I have been detained at Harare Airport inside a smelly locked room for nearly 7 hours. They said that despite using the travel document of a country with a visa-free relationship, my nationality is still Nigerian, and thus, I need a visa.”
Despite the ordeal, the journalist later used his Twitter account to inform his followers and friends about his safety. The tweet stated, “Landed. Safe and well. I was untouched and unharmed. Battery is nearly dead. Will update when I reach my secondary destination. Thanks for the immense pressure and support.”
While the reason for Hundeyin’s detainment remains unclear, there are unconfirmed reports suggesting that it may have been an attempt to allow Nigeria’s secret police, the Department for State Services (DSS), to apprehend him unlawfully and deport him back to Nigeria, where he could face persecution for his critical anti-government reporting.
As the situation unfolds, supporters and fellow journalists are eagerly awaiting more information on the circumstances surrounding Hundeyin’s detention and subsequent safe departure from Zimbabwe. The incident has raised concerns about press freedom and the challenges faced by journalists in their pursuit of truth and accountability in certain regions.
Landed. Safe and well. I was untouched and unharmed. Battery is nearly dead. Will update when I reach my secondary destination.— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) July 20, 2023
Thanks for the immense pressure and support🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/nhWKURk3yv