Southern Eye journo tipped for top award

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SOUTHERN EYE senior reporter Richard Muponde has been nominated for the 2013 ZimRights Human Rights journalist of the year whose awards will be held in Harare on December 12.

STAFF REPORTER

The awards are for human rights defenders who have been at the forefront of defending the rights of vulnerable people in society.

According to ZimRights, Muponde was nominated for courageously putting human rights on the agenda throughout the year.

He was instrumental in exposing abuse, especially the torture of Tsholotsho villagers on accusations of poisoning elephants in Hwange National Park.

Muponde also gave a national face to the Zanu PF-initiated demolitions of perceived illegal structures by exposing the process in Matabeleland North province at a time when there was misconception that the demolitions were only confined to Harare and Chitungwiza.

His colleague at Southern Eye, Nqobani Ndlovu, was also nominated for the same award.

Ndlovu was nominated for chronicling the deplorable living conditions of Robert Sinyoka residents on the outskirts of Bulawayo and highlighting the plight of this forgotten and neglected community.

Touched by the plight of residents of this urban settlement of Robert Sinyoka, a United Kingdom-based charity organisation known as “the4Cs” — Climate Change Community Champions — responded by launching an international appeal online to aid the community.

ZimRights director Okay Machisa yesterday said they worked with grassroot human rights defenders and the awards are to appreciate their good work in defending, protecting and promoting the rights of people in 2013.

“It’s going to be a red carpet event in which we want to show them that we really appreciate their efforts in assisting development of unity as well as peace in our country, mainly the brilliant work which the grassroots have done.

“We are also looking at making it a regional event in which we look at human rights defenders in the whole of Sadc region,” Machisa said.

The other nominees in the media category are Stanford Chiwanga (Sunday News), Clemence Manyukwe (Financial Gazette), Elias Mambo (Zimbabwe Independent), Cynthia Matonhodze (NewsDay) and Pindai Dube (Daily News).