Human rights defenders to be honoured

HARARE - Human Rights activists Patson Dzamara, Sten Zvorwadza, Silvanos Mudzvova, Linda Masarira, Farai Maguwu, Evan Mawarire and legislator Jessie Majome are among 81 people that have been nominated for Community Human Rights Defenders Awards (CHRDAs) to be presented on Friday night.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) will present the 5th CHRDAs at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo.

ZimRights director Okay Machisa said the awards seek to extend recognition and acknowledge the good works being undertaken by “ordinary Zimbabwean citizens to extraordinarily advance, promote, respect and protect human rights in the country.

“In this process, human rights are defined as those conditions, expectations, and standards to which every person by virtue of his or her existence as a human being is entitled.”

Machisa said when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it declared that all human beings are “free and equal in dignity and rights”.

“Some human rights, such as freedom of religion, are fundamental freedoms while other human rights protect people from unfair treatment because of certain physical attributes like disability. These are sometimes called ‘anti-discrimination’ rights.”

He added that for purposes of selecting the candidates for CHRDA therefore, a human rights defender (HRD) is defined “as one who risks or suffers harassment or disadvantage for exercising the rights expressed in the international Bill of Rights, and who, in conformity with these instruments, promotes and protects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, individually or in groups.

“Special account is taken of those who would have demonstrated an active record of advancing, promoting and protecting human rights by courageous and innovative means.

“The awards aim to encourage individuals and organisations that are currently working for the rights of others in the context of social, cultural, economic and political spheres.”

Machisa said the selection, shortlisting and eventual selection was done by a panel of independent jurists appointed by ZimRights.

“They possess various technical, professional and field experiences in the area of human rights. Various tools were used in the selection process to reinforce validity and guarantee reliability of the process.

“The outcome of the public voting process for the shortlisted nominees was used as a critical reference point as the jury narrowed down to its final decision.

“The proceedings of the jury were strictly confidential, with the final output being validated by an appointed audit firm to ensure compliance with due process.”

Mawarire, Dzamara, Masarira, Majome and Fadzai Mahere were nominated in the People’s Choice award category.

Majome, Bekezela Fuzwayo and Dzimbabwe Chimbga fight it out in the Overall Outstanding HRD of the year 2016 while Mudzvova is joined by Best Masinire and Desire Moyo as they compete for Outstanding HRD Artist of the year 2016.

Masarira and Majome are joined by Maureen Kademaunga in the Outstanding Female HRD of the year 2016 while Maguwu, Tsvurikai Duwa and Verengai Mabika fight it out in the Outstanding Male Environmental HRD of the year 2016.

Others include Kolwani Nyathi, Mccalister Ndlovu and Dumisani Dube who were nominated for the HRD Lawyer of the year 2016; Tapiwa Zivira, Jairos Saunyama, Nkulumani Mlambo — Phyllis Mbanje, Veneranda Langa and Koliwe Nyoni compete in Outstanding Male HRD Journalist of the year 2016 and Outstanding Female HRD Journalist of the year 2016 respectively.

Centre for Community Development Initiatives in Zimbabwe, Youth Dialogue Action Network and Berina Arts were nominated for Outstanding CBO of the year 2016 while Outstanding Urban & Rural District Council in Social Services Delivery saw Bulawayo Urban, Kwekwe Urban and Goromonzi Rural being nominated.

ZimRights Employee of the year 2016 nominees include July Chimutsanya, Vivid Gwede and Simbarashe Gwede.

There are also 30 nominees from the 10 provinces

Comments (3)

Why not recognize these people after they have achieved what they are fighting for. Its too early to start awarding anything to these guys who are just making useless noise like otherwise they will soon disappear and not achieve anything.

Chido - 25 November 2016

Thank you for recognizing these individuals for their bravery and resilience. If we had 100 people for each one of them everytime they demonstrate a demo would have on average 3 000 people!!

Sharia - 25 November 2016

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yencontis - 28 November 2016

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