Tsitsi Dangarembga, a Zimbabwean award winning and renowned novelist, filmmaker and cultural activist and Julie Barnes will lodge an appeal against their conviction and sentence for promoting public violence after they were arrested two years ago for allegedly taking part in an anti-government protest.
Dangarembga and Barnes were on 29 September 2022 convicted by Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateko and sentenced to pay ZWL70 000 each, failure of which they would serve a six-month jail term.
The duo, represented by Chris Mhike of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, had been on trial after they were arrested on 31 July 2020 and charged with participating in a public gathering with intention to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as defined in Section 37(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During trial, prosecutors alleged that they participated in a
demonstration in Borrowdale suburb in Harare while holding some placards inscribed “Free Hopewell, free Jacob #Zimbabwe”, “We want better reform our institution” and “Free our journalists”.
On Thursday 29 September 2022, Magistrate Mateko convicted Dangarembga and Barnes and sentenced them to pay ZWL70 000 each failure of which they would serve a six-month jail term.