Tsitsi Dangarembga

Booker prize-longlisted author Tsitsi Dangarembga arrested #FreeTsitsiDangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga has been arrested by police in Harare, Zimbabwe today, July 31, 2020.

Tsitsi Dangarembga started the week being longlisted for the Booker Prize, one of the biggest prizes in world literature, for her novel This Mournable Body (2018). The book which wraps up the Tambudzai Trilogy follows the first two in the series Nervous Conditions (1988) and The Book of Not (2006).

Zimbabwe has been going through many tribulations chief of which is a regime known for its kleptocratic nature since independence in 1980 starting with the late President Mugabe and now under his successor President Mnangagwa. Exposes by award-winning investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono have recently laid bare the rot in the Southern African country leading to authorities arresting him alongside others. Writers and journalists of African origin have written a letter to the chair of the African Union and the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community his detention.

As this happened, the Zimbabwean opposition called for a protest today, July 31. This protest resulted in Tsitsi Dangarembga, a known critic of the regime, being arrested by the police in her home nation. Tweets that she has been posting documented her and others arrest starting with, “Friends, here is a principle. If you want your suffering to end, you have to act. Action comes from hope. This the principle of faith and action.” One hour later, she said that she had been arrested. She continued to tweet after her arrest, saying that “It looks like it was a plainclothes job” and that she was being transferred before adding, “May not be able to tweet for a while”.

We will keep you abreast of proceedings as and when they happen.

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