Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Chamisa ‘gutted’ by death of ‘solid democrat’ Dewa Mavhinga

Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said he is saddened by the death of prominent Zimbabwean human rights advocate Dewa Mavhinga.

Mavhinga who was Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch died on Saturday following Covid-19 complications.

He was 41.

Chamisa, who is on a countrywide tour mobilising supporters ahead of 2023 elections, said he was “gutted” by Mavhinga’s sudden death.

“I’m in the countryside yet so gutted and deeply devastated. Death is always an unbearable blow. We’ve lost an intelligent patriot, rights defender & a solid democrat. A Cde in the struggle for freedom in Zimbabwe. Condolences to his beloved wife Fiona & the entire family. RIP my Bro,” Chamisa said.

Prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga seen here with his wife
Prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga seen here with his wife Fiona.

While he has been reported to have succumbed to Covid-19, Mavhinga’s family and friends are also waiting for postmortem results to determine the real cause of the death.

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth paid tribute to Mavhinga for fighting for justice in Zimbabwe.

“Dewa was a deeply empathetic and highly effective human rights activist whose work made many people’s lives better, whether it was pushing the Zimbabwe government to respect the right to protest in the face of economic hardship or ensuring that victims of human rights abuses across Southern Africa have access to justice,” Roth said.

Prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga who was the Southern Africa director for Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga who was the Southern Africa director for Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Mausi Segun, Africa director at Human Rights Watch said: “We have lost a true gem, a treasure of a person and colleague. We’re devastated by Dewa’s passing.”

One of the late pro-democracy activist’s friend Lance Guma said: “The death of prominent human rights activist and dear friend @DewaMavhinga is truly painful to process. We came a long way my friend. To your family I say sincere condolences. We have lost a towering figure in the human rights world. @hrw @PedzisaiRuhanya @nelsonchamisa.”

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga with Morgan Tsvangirai

Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa director Siphosami Malunga said he was devastated by Mavhinga’s death.

“I’m devastated & heartbroken by this horrible news. Dewa reached out a few weeks ago to discuss support for a victim in Eswatini(a schoolkid shot by the police & paralysed). Before that he spoke at Brookings Institute about our politically-motivated farm acquisition. A Hero.#RIPDewa,” he said. Nehanda Radio

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