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Faber statement on overturned conviction for
Tsitsi Dangarembga

By Faber Editor, 11 May 2023

Author Tsitsi Dangarembga’s outrageous conviction for ‘inciting violence’ has been overturned by Zimbabwe’s High Court.

As reported this week by the Guardian and the BBC, Tsitsi Dangarembga has had her conviction quashed by the High Court in Harare. The original conviction, for which she received a six-month suspended sentence and paid a fine, was for peacefully holding a placard calling for political reform, which a magistrate said could have breached the peace.

Louisa Joyner, Associate Publisher at Faber, said:

‘We are delighted to see that this unlawful conviction has been overturned. Tsitsi Dangarembga has been – and remains – a beacon of hope both within Zimbabwe and around the world. Tsitsi’s quiet fortitude, her bravery and her profound generosity as she fights for the rights of all those who make themselves vulnerable speaking truth to power are values we are incredibly proud to support. We know she will continue to fight and we feel immensely proud to stand by her both as a writer and as a human rights campaigner.’

Yuka Igarashi, Editor at Graywolf Press, Tsitsi’s US publisher, said:

‘When Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes were convicted last September, Tsitsi released a statement that included these words: “Our hearts are heavy at this outcome, because this conviction could set the precedent that a Zimbabwean . . . is not free to walk down a road with another citizen displaying peaceful messages that convey their opinions on issues that affect them as people living in this country. We must no longer joke that there is freedom of expression in Zimbabwe, but no freedom after expression.” We are relieved that this precedent has been avoided, and that the wrongful conviction has finally been overturned.’

About the Author

Tsitsi Dangarembga is the author of three novels, including Nervous Conditions, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and This Mournable Body, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2020. She is also a film-maker, playwright and the director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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About the Author
Portrait of author Tsitsi Dangaremba