NOVELIST Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Gabriel Barnes were yesterday fined $70 000, or three months imprisonment, after being convicted of participating in an unlawful gathering.
They were also sentenced to six months, wholly suspended, on condition they don’t commit a similar offence in the next five years.
The two were convicted after a full trial by Harare magistrate, Barbra Mateko, who ruled that the fine must be paid by October 4.
The magistrate ruled that the State managed to prove essential elements of the offence.
“The essential elements of the offence are the physical and mental elements.
“The physical element is that they acted together at a meeting place displaying writings or signs to provoke peace.
“They walked in a public place for people to see.
“The words attracted the general public and the second defence witness said they stopped because of the words on the placards.
“The journalists, by stopping, showed that their action was not peaceful at all, their actions were meant to provoke peace as they hadn’t sought any clearance to proceed in that manner,” she said.
Valarie Ngoma and Kudzanai Chigwedere appeared for the State.