Award-winning Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, a nominee for this year’s Booker Prize, has been arrested in the country’s capital, Harare, during an anti-government protest.
Dangarembga, 61, and another protester were bundled into a police lorry while carrying placards.
The government has warned that participation in Friday’s demonstration is regarded as insurrection, BBC reported.
Police and soldiers are patrolling cities where streets are mainly empty.
Opposition parties and civil society organisations had called for protests against alleged government corruption and a deepening economic crisis with inflation running at more than 700%.
But President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused the opposition of exploiting the country’s economic challenges to topple his government.
Why is the protest banned?
The authorities say that the demonstration is not allowed because of coronavirus restrictions.
Covid-19 checkpoints have meant only essential service workers have been allowed in the city centre, she says.
Most people have chosen to stay at home – and the few who have gone out to demonstrate have faced arrest.
The main opposition Movement Democratic Change (MDC) party says several of its supporters, including a party official, have been detained.
Dangarembga was carrying placards calling for reforms and for the release of Chin’ono, the agency says.