Police in Zimbabwe on Friday arrested internationally-acclaimed novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga as they enforced a ban on protests coinciding with the anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election.

Zimbabwean top writer and Booker Prize nominee, Tsitsi Dangarembga, was freed on bail on Saturday following her arrest during anti-government protests a day earlier, an AFP journalist in court said.

Dangarembga, 61, was charged with incitement to commit violence and breaching anti-coronavirus health regulations after staging a two-women demonstration in Harare which coincided with the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed election.

She was taken away from a street corner in the upmarket Harare suburb of Borrowdale alongside another protester and hauled into a truck full of police armed with AK-47 rifles and riot gear.

Police had banned the protests called by opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, against alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy.


The government had denounced the protests, calling them an “insurrection”.

The Cambridge-educated author’s arrest came days after her latest novel, “This Mournable Body,” entered the long list for the Booker Prize.

Eleven other people arrested on Friday, including Fadzayi Mahere, a lawyer and spokeswoman for the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance, were also released on Saturday.

Mahere live-streamed via Facebook images of riot police scaling metal barriers into a suburban eatery where she had retreated after her protest, and arrested her.

A magistrate court sent them back home on ZW$5,000 (US$65) bail and ordered them to return to court on September 18.

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