Human rights defender
Nkosie is human rights defender and democracy activist based in the small mining town of Kwekwe, in Zimbabwe. After realizing that young people in his community were being used and manipulated by politicians to perpetrate political violence and gross human rights violations, he founded the a community based organization working with Human Rights Defenders and youths who aspire to be in political leadership from across political divides Nkosie also works to educate and train Human Rights Defenders based in remote and grassroots areas to help them perform their human rights work. So far he has managed to train eighty of them.
After a 15 year war, Zimbabwe became officially independent in 1980. Robert Mugabe, an anti-colonial hero, became head of government and then President since 1987. Progressively, he imposed a dictatorial regime responsible for numerous human rights violations. The last – flawed – elections in July 2014 maintained him in power. A new constitution was approved in March 2013, but did not result in improving the human rights environment, largely due to failure of ZANU-PF, the ruling party, to implement the rights provisions contained in the document. Under the cover of laws such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) of 2002, the security forces, which are partisan to the ruling party, commit abuses against members and supporters of the opposition and civil society organisations.
As both civil society and political activist, Nkosie is in a particularly hazardous position. He is under serious state surveillance, receives death threats and has been beaten several times by unknown assailants. He had to flee from his known residence. During his stay in The Netherlands, Nkosie aimed to acquire more human rights skills, network with the human rights community in Europe and share his story. This will also be an opportunity for him to rest in a safe environment and re-evaluate his strategy before going back to Zimbabwe to continue his work.
Picture by Anette Brolenius