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The court ruled that the writer Tsitsi Dangarembga was guilty of inciting violence

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The Zimbabwean author and activist is the recipient of several international awards

Zimbabwean author and activist Tsitsi Dangarembga is guilty of inciting violence and sentenced to a suspended prison sentence, this is what the court that tried her for participating in last year’s anti-government protests calling for reforms in her homeland decided.



Writer, filmmaker and activist Tsitsi Dangarembga was among the many arrested at the anti-government protests in July 2020. The proceedings against her dragged on for several months, and by the time the verdict was handed down, she appeared in front of the judge about 30 times. She was sentenced to a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine in the amount of 123 euros. Her husband, a German film producer, confirmed the verdict for the German news agency DPA Olaf Koschke.

They were expressing opinions, and it was meant to be provocativeA 63-year-old woman and her friend, a journalist Julie Barnes, were arrested at protests and accused of inciting public violence, breach of public peace and fanaticism. Both claimed in court that they were merely exercising their freedom of expression. Dangarembga she also said that she called for the reforms because as a Zimbabwean she is concerned about the welfare of her fellow citizens and feels it is important to participate in public dialogue.

And the judge Barbara Mother she said that the intention of the accused was to provoke violence. “They obviously wanted to get a message across. There was nothing peaceful. They were expressing opinions, and it was meant to be provocative,” the judge justified her verdict.

The trial took place before the anti-corruption court in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, which reports directly to the country’s president To Emmerson Mnangagwa. At the beginning of August this year, the court rejected the proposal of the defense to Dangarembgo forgiven. According to the French news agency AFP, so is the judge in denied a request in August to allow the defense more time to prepare.


Zimbabwe's current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took power in 2017, succeeding longtime ruler Robert Mugabe.  According to human rights organizations, arbitrary arrests have increased during the current president's term, and the suppression of residents' discontent has also increased.  Photo: Reuters

Efforts by the President to suppress the oppositionHuman rights groups say the charges are part of an attempt by the president Mnangagwe to suppress opposition voices. Dozens of opposition supporters, political activists, journalists, union members and church leaders have already faced similar accusations.

Tsitsi Dangarembga after the verdict, she said that it was an attack on freedom of expression and that she would appeal. “I’m not surprised by the verdict, because we are in a situation where media freedom is not encouraged. This means that the space for freedom of expression is shrinking and criminalized,” she said, according to Deutsche Welle.

The widely heard voice of Africa in modern literatureThe writer achieved her first success at the age of 25 with a novel Nervous conditions (Nervous Conditions) in 1988. It was the first book that he in English by a black Zimbabwean woman. She won the Writers’ Prize for this work Commonwealth, and in 2018 the BBC named it one of the top 100 books that changed the world. Two more books followed in trilogy, and the last one was released in 2018.

Last year, the author received the peace prize awarded by German booksellers. In doing so, she became the first black author to receive this laurel, the jury praised her as “not only one of the most important artists of her country, but also a widely heard voice of Africa in modern literature“.

Source: Rtvslo

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