Dewa Mavhinga
Combining advocacy and activism in the promotion of human rights
University of Essex
LLM International Human Rights Law
  • Due to political persecution, Dewa is now based in Johannesburg, rather than Zimbabwe.
  • Dewa has more than 10 years of experience in human rights research and advocacy, specialising in Zimbabwe and southern Africa.
  • Before joining Human Rights Watch, Dewa worked as the Regional Coordinator for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition based in Johannesburg.
  • In 2012, Dewa co-founded the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, an independent public policy research think-tank based in Harare. 
  • After graduating, he joined Human Rights Watch and spearheaded its work to expose human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, documenting these in reports, and pressing the Zimbabwean government and other international players to ensure greater protection and promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe.
  • In the face of resistance from Zimbabwe’s government leaders (who sought to portray human rights as an imposition of western values on Africa), Dewa has consistently demonstrated how the source of human rights values is home-grown. Human rights are reflected in the constitution of Zimbabwe, and in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Dewa advocates for the values and principles that are enshrined in these documents that embody the spirit of African solutions for African problems.
  • Connect with Dewa on Twitter or Facebook
  • For a selection of some of Dewa's articles and reports, click here.
  • To listen to an interview with Dewa, click here
Greatest achievement: 

Exposing horrific human rights abuses in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields through a groundbreaking report entitled “Diamonds in the Rough”: Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields. Subsequent advocacy led to the temporary ban of Marange diamonds by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme resulting in extensive reforms and significant reduction of abuses in the diamond fields.

Professional interests: 

The promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe and southern Africa.

Current occupation: 
Senior Researcher for Zimbabwe, and Head of the South Africa Office of Human Rights Watch