Internationally renowned Zimbabwean author and Booker Prize nominee, Tsitsi Dangarembga, along with several others have been released on bail on Saturday, after spending a night in police custody for protesting against the government.
Dangarembga, 61, was charged with incitement to commit violence and breaching anti-coronavirus health regulations after staging a two-woman demonstration in the capital on Friday.
The auspicious day coincided with the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed election.
Dangarembgawas taken away from a street corner in the upmarket Harare suburb of Borrowdale alongside another protester and hauled into a truck full of police armed with AK-47 rifles and riot gear.
Police had banned the protests called by opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, against alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy.
The government had denounced the protests, calling them an “insurrection”.
The Cambridge-educated author’s arrest came days after her latest novel, “This Mournable Body,” entered the long list for the Booker Prize.
Eleven other people detained on Friday – including Fadzayi Mahere, a lawyer and spokeswoman for the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance party – were also freed on Saturday.
Mahere has live-streamed via Facebook images of riot police scaling metal barriers into a suburban eatery where she had retreated after her protest, and arrested her.
A magistrate court sent them back home on ZW$5,000 (US$13.82) bail and ordered them to return to court on Sept 18. (Source: The Straits Times)