Kennedy Masiye (Harare)

The Zimbabwe government still violates citizens’ rights despite a new constitution. Human rights defenders, including lawyers, risk beatings whilst defending human rights violations victims.

Kennedy Masiye, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), was recently severely bashed by the police whilst attending to protestors who were demonstrating in the Harare Central Business District (CBD) against the country’s worsening economic situation.

He had quizzed the police officers to clarify the charges they were arresting the protestors since the new constitution had a provision for freedom of expression.

Despite suffering a fractured hand as a result of the assault, Masiye has vowed to continue representing victims of human rights violations and said;

“They just broke my hand and not my spirit. The police have baptized me into human rights work”

ZLHR has been instrumental in defending citizens who had been arrested by the state for whilst defending human rights. The organization has represented scores of citizens including prominent human rights and international award winning lawyer Beatrice Mthetwa. Mthetwa had been arrested and beaten by the police whilst supporting human rights violation victims.