Tsitsi Dangarembga speaks to the media outside the court in Harare
Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
A court in Zimbabwe has sentenced multi-award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga to six months' probation, suspended for five years.
In addition, the writer has to pay a fine of 70,000 Zimbabwean dollars (around 200 euros), as Dangarembga's husband told the dpa news agency on Thursday.
The court also gave the same verdict to Damgarembga's co-defendant, journalist Julie Barnes.
Barnes and Dangarembga, who received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2021, are accused of public incitement to violence, breach of the peace and bigotry in their home country.
The trial against Dangarembga has dragged on for two years.
It is about issues that the 63-year-old, who is married to a German, has been campaigning for in books and films for decades: discrimination, human rights, persecution and corruption.
Dangarembga took to the streets a good two years ago to advocate reform of corrupt institutions in Zimbabwe.
She was arrested, released on parole shortly thereafter, and was charged in September 2020.
The anti-corruption court in the capital Harare, before which the writer had to justify herself, reports directly to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Dangarembga appeared before the court a total of 32 times.
The author was shocked after the supposedly mild verdict.
In a joint statement with Barnes, she described the court's decision as a "red flag."
"We Zimbabweans have been denied the right to freely express our opinions in public discourse," the two women said in their statement.