Harare (AFP)

Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga was released on bail on Saturday, the day after her arrest in Harare during a banned protest against corruption, an AFP journalist noted.

Ms. Dangarembga, charged with inciting violence and violating restrictive measures taken to fight the coronavirus, including the ban on gatherings, was released on payment of a $ 65 bond.

A total of eleven people arrested on Friday were released, including Fadzayi Mahere, the lawyer and spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC, the main opposition party).

"I am happy to be in the open air," Tsitsi Dangarembga told AFP on his release from detention. "It is an experience I have never had," she added, noting that although the Zimbabwean constitution allows participation in peaceful protests, "it is in practice impossible to do, because you run the risk of being arrested ".

During her arrest, she called in particular for the release of the opponent Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of the small party Transform Zimbabwe, as well as that of the journalist whistleblower Hopewell Chin'ono.

Both, still in prison and accused of public incitement to violence, called for Friday's demonstration to protest corruption and Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

Hopewell Chin'ono recently revealed corruption scandals in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, which led to the sacking in early July of Minister of Health Obadiah Moyo.

The journalist and Jacob Ngarivhume are still in pre-trial detention after being denied bail.

Tsitsi Dangarembga's recent book, This Mournable Body, the latest in a trilogy, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in England.

Hailed as a feminist voice, Ms. Dangarembga rose to fame in 1988 with "Nervous Conditions" ("A flower of skin" in the French version), then a sequel entitled "The Book of Not", which tells the story of a young woman. Zimbabwean.

Zimbabwe has been stuck for the past two decades in a catastrophic economic crisis, resulting in rampant inflation and shortages of many basic necessities.

According to the United Nations Food Program (WFP), approximately 60% of Zimbabwe's population, or 8.6 million people, will be food insecure by the end of the year, due to " combined effects of drought, economic recession and the "Covid-19 pandemic."

To date, more than 3,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded in the country, including 67 deaths.

© 2020 AFP