The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has named Kuzivakwashe Ngodza as the Young Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2017 for her outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in Zimbabwe.
The 29 year-old Ngodza, who is a programmes lawyer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), was presented with the LSZ’s prestigious award at the lawyers’ regulatory body’s Summer School held in Nyanga last week.
In honouring Ngodza, the LSZ said the lawyer had demonstrated a desire to work for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. She was selected as the winner by the LSZ’s Human Rights Committee, which received four nominees for the award among them David Hofisi, Obey Shava, Lucy Chivasa and Ngodza herself.
At ZLHR, Ngodza has actively engaged in litigation to fight impunity, lawlessness and bring accountability to the State and non-State actors and recently her clients, who include 51 Mabvuku residents, who were arrested in July 2016 and charged with public violence for allegedly participating in an anti-government protest, were found not guilty and acquitted by Harare Magistrate Lanzini Ncube.
Ngodza is one of ZLHR’s brave lawyers, on the frontline offering emergency legal support services to human rights defenders and ordinary citizens and is also involved in sensitising some marginalised communities through mobile legal clinics conducted by ZLHR across the country.
Ngodza paid tribute to LSZ, Scanlen&Holderness Legal Practitioners and her colleagues at ZLHR for committing tirelessly to defend human rights and to foster a culture of human rights in the country. “I would like to thank LSZ for creating such a platform to recognise young human rights lawyers as well as thank Scanlen&Holderness Legal Practitioners for the sponsorship. In addition, I would like to thank ZLHR for giving me a home to pursue my passion to defend the defenceless. Finally, I would like to thank my husband Godman Chingoma for being the best support system, said Ngodza.
The LSZ’s Young Human Rights Lawyer Award is sponsored by Scanlen and Holderness Legal Practitioners and targets junior to mid-career lawyers under the age of 35.
The award seeks to promote human rights litigation, advocacy and a human rights culture among young lawyers and recognise young lawyers who are working to achieve better human rights outcomes in the country.
Besides Ngodza, other ZLHR lawyers such as Lizwe Jamela, Jeremiah Bamu, Bellinda Chinowawa and Kennedy Masiye among others have previously won the LSZ’s prestigious award.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyer’s for Human Rights (ZLHR)