Acclaimed author and filmmaker’s false conviction overturned in a significant victory for justice and human rights

In a landmark ruling today, Zimbabwe’s High Court acquitted renowned writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga and her friend, activist Julie Barnes, of the baseless charges brought against them. The charges, which were related to alleged incitement during a peaceful protest in July 2020, were dismissed by Justices Happias Zhou and Benjamin Chikowero, marking a significant triumph for the pursuit of justice in the country.

The case, initially tried by Magistrate Barbara Mateko, had drawn widespread criticism and condemnation from human rights organizations and activists. Dangarembga and Barnes had participated in a peaceful two-woman march, demanding reforms and the release of political prisoners. However, their peaceful demonstration resulted in their unjust conviction on dubious grounds.

Zimbabwe’s magistrates courts have faced severe scrutiny in recent years for their perceived bias against opposition politicians, government critics, and journalists. Many individuals have been de

nied bail and convicted under questionable circumstances, leading to prolonged detentions and allegations of political persecution.

The legal battle to prove Dangarembga and Barnes’ innocence was championed by Harrison Nkomo, a highly respected senior lawyer in Zimbabwe. Nkomo’s expertise and dedication played a pivotal role in dismantling the flawed case against the two women, highlighting the importance of competent legal representation in the pursuit of justice.

The news of Dangarembga and Barnes’ acquittal was met with both relief and skepticism among Zimbabweans. On social media platform Twitter, user Makombe expressed concerns about the underlying motives behind such cases, suggesting that the ruling party, Zanu-PF, orchestrates certain legal outcomes to maintain control over the narrative.

“Zanu-PF determines the agenda & determines the outcome… all this is planned from Shake Shake building,” tweeted Makombe. “They make sure that, for political cases, people lose most & win some cases. When they celebrate the wins, then Zanu-PF uses those celebrations to say the courts are NOT captured.”

While the acquittal of Dangarembga and Barnes represents a significant victory for justice, it also highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Zimbabwe’s legal system in ensuring impartiality and protecting human rights. The case serves as a reminder of the need for continued scrutiny and reforms to guarantee equal treatment under the law for all citizens.

As Zimbabwe moves forward, the international community will closely monitor developments, hoping for a strengthened commitment to upholding the principles of justice and safeguarding the fundamental rights of its citizens. The acquittal of Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes serves as a symbol of hope, inspiring others to persevere in the face of adversity and fight for a more just society.

Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿

By Power

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