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Booker Prize nominee arrested while protesting in Zimbabwe

Author Tsitsi Dangarembga, a nominee for this year’s prestigious Booker Prize, was arrested Friday in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, while protesting the government.

Dangarembga, 61, and one other protester were taken into a police vehicle with their placards, according to the BBC.

The Zimbabwe government has outlawed protests ostensibly due to COVID-19, as opposition parties and civil society organizations railed “against alleged government corruption and a deepening economic crisis with inflation running at more than 700%,” the BBC reports.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused the opposition of exploiting the country’s economic challenges to topple his government.

Dangarembga was carrying placards calling for reforms and for the release of prominent investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and while being held in custody, tweeted: “May not be able to tweet for a while.”

The day before her arrest, Dangarembga had railed against the government to the BBC saying, “Every sector is disintegrating. Health, education, the economy. I am concerned for my safety. It would be naïve not to be because we have a very repressive regime and we know that they will most likely be deployed against the people.

“This is one of the grievances that the people have, that the security forces, the security service is often deployed against the people, instead of being deployed for the protection of the people,” he continued.


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