Famous novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga arrested after authorities banned protests for corruption and economic hardship.
Award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested in the Zimbabwe capital as security forces patrolled the streets of towns to prevent anti-government protests called by activists over a alleged state corruption and the worsening economic situation of the country.
The novelist was reportedly loaded into a police truck on Friday as he demonstrated on a road in the capital, Harare, alongside another protester, carrying signs. Police had banned the protests, warning that anyone who attended "will only have to blame themselves."
“Arrested! In Borrowdale. Ope it'll be fine, ”she said on Twitter shortly after and posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor with another protester.
“Looks like it was plainclothes work. Guy came and filmed, ”added Dangarembga .
It came just days after his latest novel, This Mournable Body, entered the list for the prestigious Booker Prize.
Fadzayi Mahere, spokesperson for the principal party of the Movement for Democratic Change, also said on social media that she was detained for demonstrating in her neighborhood. Mahere posted a video of the police walking up to her and telling her to stop recording them. She later could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, streets were empty in towns and villages across Zimbabwe as hundreds of soldiers and police patrolled, guarded checkpoints and imposed a coronavirus lockdown.
"The security situation in the country is calm and peaceful" police spokesman Paul Nyathi said.
Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume from a small party called Transform Zimbabwe had called for protests across the country, but people stayed home after the prohibition Some protestors .
Mnangagwa, who is under pressure to revive the country's collapsed economy, described the planned rallies as "an insurgency to overthrow our democratically elected government." He warned that security guards "will be vigilant and on high alert".
Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in over a decade, marked by hyperinflation, a local currency that depreciates rapidly against the US dollar and severe currency shortages. It is estimated that 10 percent of Zimbabweans are without formal employment.
Critics say that Mnangagwa, who imposed a covers - nighttime fire and restricted free movement last week to curb coronavirus infections, exploit a COVID-19 lockdown to quell dissent.
Zimbabwe recorded more than 3000 coronavirus cases and 53 related deaths on Friday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.