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Rights defender Mtetwa honoured


PROMINENT lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa last Thursday won the prestigious female human rights defender award.

Nqobani Ndlovu

Mtetwa, who is out of the country, scooped the award ahead of MDC-T legislator Jessie Majome and Netsai Mushonga.

The Harare-based lawyer was recently acquitted of charges of obstructing the course of justice after she tried to block police from searching the house of then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aide.

The awards ceremony held in Bulawayo to commemorate the International Human Rights Day was co-ordinated by Zimbabwe Rights Association (ZimRights) and sponsored by several other non-governmental organisations and the civic society groups.

Other winners were Zanu PF legislator Paddington Zhanda who won the human rights advocate of the year, Owen Maseko (male human rights artist of the year), singer Mukudzeyi Mukombe — popularly known as  Jah Prayzah (peace ambassador of the year) and Rudo Chigudu (youth human rights defender of the year).

The 2013 human rights advocate for people living with disabilities was won by Mashavakure Nyamababo, while Yvonne Bosha won the female human rights artiste of the year. Mabel Sikhosana won the overall national human rights defender of the year.

The winners of the human rights awards were presented with shields, certificates and some cash prizes.

Meanwhile, former Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) and Bulawayo-based journalist Pindai Dube scooped the country’s prestigious human rights journalist of the year.

Dube now at DailyNews and a former Zimbabwe Independent reporter, won the award ahead of other two nominees  also from  the  AMH stable Elias Mambo (Zimbabwe Independent) and Cynthia Matonhodze (NewsDay).

The journalist was honoured for the touching stories on the neglected San community and Gukurahundi victims who failed to vote in the July 31 elections respectively.

He was presented with a shield, certificate and a cash prize.

“I feel humbled to be honoured like this. I didn’t know while I was working the whole year ZimRights was quietly assessing my work behind the scenes,” said Dube after receiving the award.

The theme for the 2013 Human Rights Day celebrated annually on December 10 was “20 years: Working for your Rights”.

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