Harare – Award-winning Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga will go on trial next week for inciting violence after staging a street protest, a court ruled on Thursday.
Dangarembga, 63, was arrested in July 2020 for staging an anti-government protest alongside her neighbour in the affluent Harare suburb of Borrowdale.
She stood by the roadside holding a banner that read “We want better – reform our institutions” before being hauled into a police van. She was freed on bail a day later.
Dismissing her bid to have the charges dropped, magistrate Barbra Mateko said a trial was warranted because the message conveyed by the placard entailed “a possible breach of peace”.
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She was ordered back to court on August 10.
Dangarembga said she was disappointed at the decision but remained defiant.
“l had hoped for a discharge of the case,” she told reporters outside the courtroom.
“Zimbabweans have the right to demonstrate and if an issue arises and l feel it needs demonstrating (against), l will surely do it again”.
An arrest warrant issued against her after she failed to appear in court due to illness, was cancelled last month.
Author of three international award-winning novels, Dangarembga first stepped into the international limelight in 1988 with her groundbreaking debut novel “Nervous Conditions,” the first book published in English by a black Zimbabwean woman.
The work earned her the prestigious Commonwealth Writers’ Prize the following year.
She was one of this year’s winners of the Windham-Campbell Prizes.