Six human rights activists honoured

GIRAFFE Heroes Zimbabwe (GHZ), a human rights watch organisation has honoured six human rights activists for their outstanding work in defending citizens’ rights across the country.

The organisation in partnership with GH International (USA) honoured citizens that include human rights lawyer Maureen Kademaunga and rural livelihoods activist John Manyaya (pictured) of Simukai Residents Trust.

Some of the recipients of the GHZ awards are Masvingo Residents Trust coordinator Ephraim Mutombeni, Busani Sibindi Save Matabeleland Trust, Edzai Nesu founder Tafadzwa Muzondo and Kudakwashe Zireva, a community leader safeguarding the environment from chrome mining.

According to GHZ founder and director Terry Mutsvanga, it is the duty of GHZ to recognise individuals who are conducting commendable work in communities for the betterment of other citizens regardless of the risks and challenges they face on a daily basis.

“As GHZ, it is our duty to recognise and honour individuals who commit part of their time in defending social and economic rights in the country. It is such citizens that we identify and recognise for standing up for citizens’ rights at a time when human rights violations continue to take place in the country,” he said.

He further said the idea of recognising such citizens is a way of demystifying the norm that heroes are only big newsmakers like politicians but ordinary citizens working for the common good of humanity.

“Our idea is to help demystify the notion that heroes are very big and powerful members of society but showcase that heroes are found in every sector and sphere.

“A hero is someone who is doing something exceptional for the common good of others,” he said.

GHZ was set up in 2014 and so far about 70 citizens have been conferred as Giraffe Heroes. Some of the recipients include missing activist Itai Dzamara, who was honoured at the first award ceremony held in 2014 at a local hotel, a few months before his disappearance. It is one of the only three chapters in Africa after Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ghana. —Tendai Kamhungira

Comments (1)

I'm truly humbled and honored by this award. I give acclaim to the thousands of people, especially rural people who are toiling daily under economic, social oppression caused by policy makers and people who should be protecting them. Masimba John MANYANYA - 16 June 2017

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