Tsitsi Dangarembga acquitted over anti-government protest
Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga was acquitted on Monday by the country’s High Court for staging an anti-government protest in 2020, for which she had initially received a six-month suspended jail sentence and a fine.
Dangarembga, whose latest book This Mournable Body has been nominated for a Booker Prize, was found guilty by a lower court in 2022 on charges of participating in a public gathering with intent to incite public violence while breaking COVID-19 protocols, after a protest criticising the government’s efforts to deal with corruption and a struggling economy in July 2020.
Dozens of political activists, Reuters writes, were arrested at the time.
“I can confirm that she has been acquitted. As her lawyers we are grateful because she had not committed any offence in the first place,” said lawyer Harrison Nkomo.
He said the High Court judges did not immediately give reasons for the acquittal.
A fierce critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government who has been fighting for years against corruption and demanding reforms, Dangarembga had maintained during the trial that Zimbabweans have the right to demonstrate.