Police arrest Booker nominated novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga

By Edward Tsumele

This was supposed to be a moment of celebrations for feminist author, filmmaker and activist Tsitsi Dangarembga, following her being long-listed for the Booker Prize for her new novel This Mournable Body.

Instead, the celebrated author is languishing in jail, alongside others arrested in Harare this morning, Friday, July 31.

Details surrounding her arrest by police are still sketchy. However what is known is that the situation is tense in that country ,following a national protest planned for today organized by civil society, protesting about hardships the citizens are facing as a result of the troubled economic situation in that country. In Zimbabwe there is currently hyperinflation and unemployment is estimated at more than 80%, with many people surviving through activities in the informal sector, and this coupled by the coronavirus, has compounded the problems ordinary people are facing.

Her South African publisher Jacana Media confirmed Dangarembga’s arrest in a statement this afternoon.

”Tsitsi Dangarembga has been arrested this morning and is in prison with her colleague, Julie Barnes. They are being held at Borrowdale police station in Harare. She was arrested by a plainclothes policeman who had been following her and filming her. Her last tweet before being arrested was “Friends, here is a principle. If you want your suffering to end, you have to act. Action comes from hope. This is the principle of faith and action,” the short statement said without giving further details.

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