A ZIMBABWEAN human rights defender has won a United States award “for his outstanding role in promoting social, political and cultural progress” in the country.


Dzikamai Bere, who is a programmes co-ordinator with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum will this month be recognised by the US Presidential Precinct, an institution training young leaders, for his role in promoting transitional justice in the country.

The function will be held in the Washington DC, US on July 25 under the theme, Salute Africa: A Tribute to Mandela Washington, where the 2019 Mandela Washington fellows will also be honoured.

“At this international gathering of business and political leaders, we would like to present to you our Presidential Precinct Young Leader Award,” reads part of Bere’s invitation letter dated June 13 by Niel Piper, the executive director of the Presidential Precinct.

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“Through this award, we seek to honour visionary alumni of the Precinct, who are promoting social, political and cultural progress for the world’s developing democracies. We cannot imagine a more deserving candidate than you to receive this distinction.”

Piper added: “Your contributions as a leading advocate for transitional justice in Zimbabwe and parallel efforts to broaden the constituency of individuals engaged in this critical endeavour are exemplary. In accepting this award, we would ask that you speak to the assembled young African leaders and dignitaries about how your experience through the Presidential Precinct has impacted your leadership on behalf of the National Justice Working Group in Zimbabwe (NJWGZ) and other platforms.”

The NJWGZ has been tirelessly working for peace in the country through an effective handling of past human rights violations that include the Gukurahundi massacres.

In an interview, Bere said he was humbled by the recognition.

“This award was only possible because I find myself serving the smartest and most caring crop of leaders in this country.

“The leadership of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the National Transitional Justice Working Group. To mention my exceptional executive director Blessing Gorejena, our chairperson Jestina Mukoko, the NTJWG chairperson and Zimbabwe’s most celebrated human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, his deputy Paul Themba Nyathi — a respected veteran of our struggle for independence. Anyone who has spent time with these legends knows that they are the true winners of the leadership award. I remain indebted for their mentorship and guidance.”