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Zimbabwe Court Slaps Renowned Novelist, Accomplice With 6-Month Jail Sentence for Inciting Violence

Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga
Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga

A Zimbabwean magistrate has convicted renowned novelist and filmmaker, Tsitsi Dangarembga, for inciting violence in 2020.

In a tweet, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said, From Harare Magistrates, we are saddened that Zim's award winning & renowned novelist, filmmaker & cultural activist Tsitsi Dangarembwga and Julie Barnes have been convicted by Magistrate Barbara Mateko for allegedly taking part in an anti-govt protest held in 2020.”

Maketo sentenced Tangaembgwa and Barnes to a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of $70,000.

They were arrested when they staged a protest in Harare at a time the opposition had called for a nationwide anti-government march against corruption in Zimbabwe.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Tangaembgwa said she did not coerce anyone to join the show.

According to Reuters, she was arrested while walking through the streets deserted by the pandemic at the end of July 2020 with a journalist friend and a handful of other protesters. On her large placard, held in front of her with both hands, was this sober message: "We want better. Let's reform our institutions".