Popular Zimbabwean writer acquitted

Adeyemi Adeyemi
Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant 2023-05-08 20:45:30

In 2022, Tsitsi Dangarembga was found guilty of intent to commit public violence after organizing anti-government protests.

Acclaimed Zimbabwean filmmaker and novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga has been acquitted by the country’s Supreme Court of organizing an anti-government protest in 2020, for which she was initially given a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine.

“I can confirm that she has been acquitted,” her lawyer Harrison Nkomo said Monday after her acquittal. “As her attorneys, we’re thankful because she didn’t commit an offense in the first place.”

- Advertisement -

In 2022, Dangarembga was found guilty by a lower court of participating in a public gathering with intent to incite public violence while violating COVID-19 protocols. She was tried alongside her friend and fellow protester Julie Barnes, who was also found guilty.

This was after a protest in July 2020 criticizing the government’s efforts to tackle corruption and a struggling economy. Dozens of political activists were then arrested.

Nkomo said Supreme Court judges did not immediately give reasons for the acquittal.

Dangarembga, 64, is a fierce critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration. She has been fighting corruption and demanding reform for years, insisting during the trial that Zimbabweans have the right to demonstrate.

Not all protesters have been treated leniently. Zimbabwean courts have issued a wave of harsh sentences against political activists ahead of this year’s general election. Activists and opposition figures also say that the police have started cracking down on dissidents.

- Advertisement -

Opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who was arrested along with Dangarembga for organizing protests, was last week sentenced to four years in prison on charges of inciting violence.

Dangarembga’s first novel, Nervous Conditions, won the African Section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989. She was the first black Zimbabwean woman to publish a novel in English. Her book This Mournable Body was nominated for a Booker Prize in 2020.

- Advertisement -
Popular Zimbabwean writer acquitted

Africa Region News ,Next Big Thing in Public Knowledg

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *