Jestina Mukoko

Zimbabwean human rights activist and director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project

Sub-Saharan Africa
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 Jesmunga

Jestina Mukoko is a human rights activist, former journalist, and the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), an NGO that documents human rights abuses by Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship. In 2008,Mukoko was abducted by police from her home in Harare, interrogated, and forced to confess under torture to recruiting youths for military training by an opposition movement. Three months after her abduction, she was released on bail. Mukoko courageously fought against the false charges used to justify her arrest; her case was eventually brought before the Zimbabwean Supreme Court and he was exonerated. In 2010,Mukoko was honored with the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, given to women who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advancing women’s rights. In 2016 she wrote her first memoir recounting her abduction and trial called, “The Abduction and Trial of Jestina Mukoko; the Fight for Human Rights in Zimbabwe.” Today she is a high profile rights activist and through ZPP continues to track abuses by the Mugabe government,gives interviews, and comments on current Zimbabwean politics and human rights.“The nature of the human rights violations,mainly politically motivated violence, makes disturbing reading … The attacks point to a festering culture of political intolerance that potentially spells trouble for the 2018 elections.” (Bloomberg,Sept. 2017).

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