Harare: Award-winning Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested during anti-government protests on Friday, an AFP photographer saw.
Dangarembga, 61, was bundled into a police truck while protesting on a road in Harare’s upmarket suburb of Borrowdale alongside another protester, carrying placards. Shortly after that she tweeted “Arrested! At Borrowdale. Ope it will be OK”.
An AFP photographer saw them bundled into a truck full of police armed with AK-47 rifles and riot gear. Authorities have outlawed the demonstrations, which target alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy.
They coincide with the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed election Dangaremgba’s husband, Olaf Koschke, confirmed the arrest to AFP. She was carrying placards calling for reforms and for the release of prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who was arrested last week under a government crackdown.
The Cambridge-educated author is the only Zimbabwean woman writer to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her arrest came days after her latest novel, “This Mournable Body,” entered the long list for the Booker Prize.
Often praised as a leading feminist voice, Dangarembga leapt to prominence in 1988 with “Nervous Conditions”, a coming-of-age story about a girl’s battle to escape poverty and gain an education. The book became an instant classic.
Named by the BBC as one of 100 stories that shaped the world, “Nervous Conditions”, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989. She boosted her international following in 2006 with a sequel, “The Book of Not,” a semi-autobiographical account of growing up in colonial Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was named before independence from Britain in 1980.
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