Arrested Zimbabwean Booker Prize nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga freed


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)