Tsitsi Dangarembga is an award-winning Zimbabwean novelist. She was nominated for the Booker prize longlist earlier this week. Tsitsi was arrested on Friday amid a sweeping crackdown by security agencies ahead of planned anti-corruption demonstrations.
Tensions have risen in the poor southern African country recently, as security agencies have sought to stifle widespread anger at soaring prices, inadequate public services, and allegations of corruption at the highest levels of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government. On Thursday, the police warned the people that anyone attending the protests would “only have themselves to blame”. The government officials have described the protests, which have been banned under restrictions on social gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a “planned insurrection”.
Dangarembga, whose novel This Mournable Body was longlisted for the UK’s premier fiction award next to Hilary Mantel and Anne Tyler, documented her arrest in the city’s upscale suburb of Borrowdale on Twitter. After protesting on social media about the arrest of journalists in Zimbabwe, she tweeted earlier today: “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, Dangarembga said she had been arrested. She continued to tweet after her arrest, saying that “it looks like it was a plainclothes job” before being released.
Arrested! At Borrowdale. Ope it will be OK
— Tsitsi Dangarembga (@efie41209591) July 31, 2020