Zimbabwean award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Julie Gabriel Barnes have been convicted of inciting public violence. The two were arrested in 2020 and charged with participating in a public gathering with the intention to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as defined in Section 37(1)(b) of the Criminal Code. They have been on trial over the last two years on charges of inciting public violence after participating in a demonstration in the Borrowdale suburb in Harare while holding some placards inscribed “Free Hopewell, free Jacob #Zimbabwe”, “We want better reform our institution” and “Free our journalists”. Pindula News presents some of the responses to the duo’s conviction:
Zoe Flood@Zoe_Flood (Journalist/filmmaker):
Dark day in Zimbabwe. Pay attention to this, world. @EfieZethu @jbcorporatex found guilty of participating in a gathering with intent to incite public violence, for a silent, peaceful walking protest with signs back in 2020.
Fadzayi Mahere (opposition Citizens Coalition for Change spokesperson):
•The killers of Moreblessing Ali are free.
•The killers of Mboneni Ncube are free.
•Covidgate looters are free.
•Those who raided NSSA are free.
Gold smugglers are free.
But these brave women have been convicted for holding up placards demanding a better Zimbabwe.
Where in the world is this a criminal offence?
Desire M Chiromo @king_mathers:
Here they have really sank low even by their own standards. This is not it.
Ability Sango @ability_sango:
They want to provoke a reaction from the people so that they revert to the norm of violance andstate of emergence. They fear elections.
Tino The Village Boy. @LRuredzo:
This is lawfare. It’s not acceptable in a free independent Zimbabwe. Demonstration is our constitutional right.
It really is a sad and bad day for our democracy. In fact we don’t have democracy. If we are not allowed to enjoy the freedoms of our constitution then it means we have no democracy. I shudder to imagine what’s gonna happen to @JobSikhala1 and the other 15. Ndototya kuzvifunga.
The Parakeet Zim @ZimParrot:
Mnangagwa is a complete disgrace! Worse than Mugabe! Victimizing women for exercising their constitutional rights! Stand strong @EfieZethu @jbcorporatex we are in this together!