Zimbabwe – regime critic convicted – politics


In Zimbabwe a court has fined award-winning author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, 63. The regime critic was accused of inciting violence because she had called for reforms with a poster on the street in 2020. The punishment was “mild” despite its symbolic power, said the president of the PEN center in Zimbabwe, Elisha July, of the Catholic News Agency (KNA). Dangarembga had to pay the equivalent of 224 euros; alternatively, she faced three months in prison. The trial took place with great international media interest. Originally, the verdict was supposed to fall in the morning; the postponement by several hours could have been a “strategy” to “frustrate the press,” suspects July. He and other observers assume a sham trial that should serve as a warning to other critics. In total, the Dangarembga had to appear before the judge more than 30 times. Upon her arrival in court, Dangarembga stressed: “I hope for news that will make me happy and proud of my country.” She had previously declared via Twitter: “Freedom of expression is not a crime.” A new era began in the South African country with the fall of dictator Robert Mugabe in 2017. The economically troubled, oppressed nation hoped for more democracy under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. However, he also has members of the opposition tortured, journalists locked up and critics silenced. Dangarembga is considered the first black Zimbabwean to write a novel in English. Her debut work “Nervous Conditions” (1988) received several awards. The daughter of two teachers spent her childhood in Zimbabwe and Great Britain. She lived in Germany for more than ten years.



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