Rights lawyer, Muchadehama honoured

HARARE - Prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama has won this year’s Walter Kamba rule of law award, conferred to him by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).

Muchadehama was honoured in recognition of his distinguished career as a defender of the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.

He said he was humbled by the recognition. The 48-year-old lawyer and former prosecutor has won several awards as a human rights defender, working closely with civil society organisations.

Muchadehama has handled several cases involving civil society organisations, political parties, labour unions, media and ordinary individuals.

“I have lost count on the number of cases that I have handled — they are just too many to enumerate,” he said, in an interview with the LSZ president Lloyd Mhishi.

Muchadehama, who is a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, among other powerful organisations, is a partner in a top law firm, Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni, Legal Practitioners. The Chivhu-born lawyer attended secondary and high school in Chipinge before enrolling to study law in 1987 at the University of Zimbabwe.

Asked how he was inspired to take up human rights issues, Muchadehama said, “It started purely by accident during the 1998 food riots, led by women from Mabvuku and Budiriro who were complaining over the continued rise in the price of bread — there was looting of shops. You will recall the lasting picture of a Chitungwiza man carrying a whole hind quarter of beef looted from a shop to his home.”

He said he represented one of the suspects, despite some lawyers having been discouraged to take up the case. He fought hard until the suspect was released on bail, leading to a trail of other human rights cases falling on his desk.

In the course of his duty, Muchadehama has been arrested and detained three times and has dodged threats of physical violence and disappearance.

Part of his portfolio includes representing firebrand socialist Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 others, who were accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

He has also represented members of the MDC, Women of Zimbabwe Arise, among several other groups of people.

Comments (1)

2015 Kamba Award goes to Bryant Walker Elliot

fraser edkins - 6 December 2015

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