Renowned writer Tsitsi Dangarembga has tried and failed to get a Zimbabwean court to dismiss charges against her, relating to a public protest two years ago.
Dangarembga was arrested during anti-corruption demonstrations in the capital Harare in July 2020, for carrying placards calling for political reforms.
Her friend Julie Barnes was arrested alongside her, and both women are accused of violating coronavirus protocols and inciting public violence – charges they both deny.
Dangarembga expressed disappointment at Thursday’s ruling outside the courthouse in Harare.
The two year-long court case has been marked by delays, including no-shows by the prosecutor. At one point it was transferred to the anti-corruption court.
The magistrate ruled today that the pair have a case to answer, and should present their defence next Wednesday.
Various groups have called for the charges to be dropped and for an end to the harassment of writers, journalists and other dissenting voices in Zimbabwe.