Zimbabwe Programme

The Zimbabwe Programme


We aim to enhance access to justice in Zimbabwe; through legislation, policies, practices and decision-making increasingly based on international human rights standards and principles.

Through the Zimbabwe programme (financed by Sida) we aim to contribute to long-term human rights developments in Zimbabwe.

We have identified two high-level strategies that are key to realising the programme objectives:

1. To strengthen the capacities of main stakeholders to promote, respect, protect and fulfil human rights within their respective mandate.

2. To enhance the available means and space for main stakeholders to constructively engage with each other.

In pursuing these strategies, we seek to solidify the human resource foundations for such change in a sustainable way. Furthermore, we seek to contribute to the development and strengthening of neutral platforms for more effective and structured collaboration on strategic human rights reform issues.

Neutral platforms are key to promote to better collaboration. These platforms are composed primarily of main stakeholders and are academia, independent research centres (IRCs), civil society organisations (CSOs), government institutions, independent commissions, traditional leadership and media.

How we address Human Rights in Zimbabwe

Through the programme, we:

Develop human rights education at academic partner institutions. This includes through programmes, courses and curricula developments. A particular focus on clinical legal education is promoted.

Provide scholarship opportunities for human rights studies at academic institutions in Zimbabwe

Develop human rights library resources at academic institutions together with our partners

Support the development and publication of textbooks and policy-oriented research supporting the overall programme objectives

Deliver cross-sectoral thematic professional training programmes on various aspects on human rights. This is made possible by bringing together representatives of academia, IRCs, CSOs, government institutions, independent commissions, traditional leadership and media, to discuss and share experiences particularly on reform relevant issues and how to apply human rights standards in practice.

Provide sectoral human rights professional training and capacity development programmes for individual institutions, such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service.

Arrange round tables and expert meetings in support of the overall programme objectives

Gender equality and human rights of women and the relationship between corruption and human rights, are given specific attention as cross-cutting priority issues, reinforcing the human rights-based approach embraced by the Programme.

It is expected that the programme will help the participating institutions to be better equipped in contributing to reforms and related initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights. We also aim to increase awareness, structured dialogues and joint initiatives on key human rights issues in Zimbabwe.

Our programme contributed to increased cooperation around human rights issues among sectors and actors lacking natural meeting points.

'The Programme seeks to contribute to long-term human rights changes in Zimbabwe. In order to achieve this overall objective, the Programme has identified two high-level strategies which are to: 1) strengthen the capacities of main stakeholders to promote, respect, protect and fulfil human rights within their respective mandate; 2) enhance the available means and space for main stakeholders to constructively engage with each other.' Mikael Johansson, Director of Programmes, Zimbabwe Programme, Harare.

Brief History of the Programme

The Zimbabwe programme originated in the RWI Human Rights Capacity Development Programme in 2016. This 2-year programme was fully financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

In March 2019, thanks to the success of the partnerships established during those two years, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) entered into an agreement with the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe on a new cooperation programme.

This follow-up programme is an extension of the original one, expanded in volume by including additional components/activities and partners for 2019-2022. Adding to this, a 3-year partnership with RWI’s office in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the European Union (E.U), from 2022-2024.

In December 2021, RWI entered into an agreement with the European Commission (EU) on a cooperation programme entitled “Support to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission” (the Action) for a period of 36 months. The overall aim of this collaboration is the increased enjoyment of constitutional rights in Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe Programme Staff

Mikael Johansson

Mikael Johansson

Director of Zimbabwe Programme and Harare Office / Senior Policy Adviser, Anti-Corruption and Human Rights

Phone: + 263 77 500 4361
Cell phone: + 46 70 212 7165 /whatsapp
E-mail: mikael.johansson@rwi.lu.se

Mikael Johansson holds a Master of Laws from the Faculty of Law at Lund University, with specialisation in international human rights law and international humanitarian law. He has been with the Institute since 1991 and has held several positions within the department for international programmes, including head of programmes, and has also functioned as the Institute’s advisor on Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance. He is currently the director of the Institute´s Zimbabwe Programme and Harare Office, and the Institute’s Senior Policy Adviser on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights. From September 2004 to August 2006 Mikael worked at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, as the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency’s (Sida), Regional Adviser for Democracy and Human Rights for Southern Africa.

Mikael’s work experience covers management of institutional and human rights capacity development programmes and strategic planning and policy development related to development cooperation and human rights, including results based management and application of human rights based approaches to development. He has vast experience in the fields of administration of justice, rule of law and anti-corruption. He is the current coordinator of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes and he is since 2011 member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law.

Isis Sartori Reis

Isis Sartori Reis

Programme Officer

Phone: +46 79 063 18 25
E-mail: isis.sartori_reis@rwi.lu.se

Isis Sartori Reis works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe, as well as with RWI’s China in the World Dialogue and Capacity-Bridging Initiative. Isis’ expertise includes results-based management, human rights and anti-corruption, and gender mainstreaming.

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Moreblessing Mbire

Moreblessing Mbire

Programme Officer

Phone: +263 772 557 406
E-mail: moreblessing.mbire@rwi.lu.se

Moreblessing currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe particularly in the academic cooperation component.

She has more than seven years’ experience working in the human rights sector in Zimbabwe. She has experience in communications, advocacy and project management. Before joining RWI, Moreblessing worked for the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) as the Advocacy and Communications Officer making significant contributions to the promotion of human rights and access to justice.

Moreblessing also has experience working with state institutions including academia, civil society organisations and development partners.

She holds a Master of Arts degree with a specialisation in Human Rights, Development and Social Justice from the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), a Bachelor of Laws degree (South Africa) and a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Society Studies (Zimbabwe).

Nellie Madziro

Nellie Madziro

Financial Officer Harare Office

Ashley Muza

Ashley Muza

Junior Programme Officer

E-mail: ashley.muza@rwi.lu.se

Ashley is a recent graduate of Bachelor of Laws Honours degree from Herbert Chitepo Law School at Great Zimbabwe University. She will be working primarly with RWI’s academic cooperation component.  She has a considerable background in human hights studies obtained during the course of her degree and human rights related advocacy skills obtained through moot courts participation.

Innocent Mawire

Innocent Mawire

Programme Officer, RWI-Harare, Zimbababwe Focal Point for BHR

E-mail: innocent.mawire@rwi.lu.se

Innocent Mawire, is a lawyer by profession, and has acquired extensive experience on public sector and human rights matters in Zimbabwe spanning more than a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) Degree from the University of Zimbabwe (2005) and is also a graduate of the Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from Lund University, Sweden (2019). Before his studies in Lund Innocent worked at the Department for Policy and Legal Research at the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in Zimbabwe, where he, inter alia, served in the secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the secretariat of the Universal Period Review National Steering Committee. Further, Innocent served as the Ministry of Justice representative on the Governance and Institution Building Thematic Cluster under the Resumed 11th Round of the European Development Fund as well as the Focal Point in the Department’s Intellectual Property Unit where he led the processes towards the development of Zimbabwe’s first ever National IP Policy and Strategy Framework, including Zimbabwe’s accession to the WIPO Madrid Protocol for the International Registration Mark (1989).

Innocent also served as the Secretary to the Council for Legal Education and was instrumental in the establishment of the Faculties of Law’s inaugural LLB degrees at Great Zimbabwe University and the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University.  Most recently, Innocent is coming from the UNDP Zimbabwe Country Office, where he served as National Public Sector Reform Officer within the Governance and Peace Building Unit providing technical support to capacity development initiatives to the Tripartite Partners of the Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Peacewell Makhurane

Peacewell Makhurane

Junior Programme Officer

E-mail: peacewell.makhurane@rwi.lu.se

Peacewell Makhurane currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme for Zimbabwe particularly under the cooperation with Independent Commissions and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS).

Peacewell completed his Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies Honours Degree in the year 2020 from the Midlands State University. He developed passion and enthusiasm to work towards the protection and promotion of human rights during his internship period at Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) from 2018 to 2019. He has been working with planning and implementation of human rights education, awareness campaigns, outreaches, monitoring and inspection, complaints handling, investigations, developing learning and teaching materials for capacity building and raising awareness of human rights at deferent levels of society.
He is currently studying his Master of Arts in Development Studies Degree which he believes will capacitate him with knowledge and skills to promote values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others, to empower them, to contribute to the building and promotion of a universal culture of human rights at different levels of society.

Timothy Maldoon

Timothy Maldoon

Programme Officer

Phone: + 46 46 222 12 48
E-mail: timothy.maldoon@rwi.lu.se

Timothy holds a LLM (jur. kand) with a specialization in European Union law, together with a Bachelors (fil. kand) in Human Rights, both from Lund University, Sweden. He currently works with the academic cooperation component of the Zimbabwe Programme, primarily with regard to mainstreaming and institutionalising human rights education and research in Zimbabawe.

Alejandro Fuentes

Alejandro Fuentes

Senior Researcher

Phone: +46 46 222 10 46
E-mail: alejandro.fuentes@rwi.lu.se

Alejandro Fuentes is a Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), an affiliated lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Lund University (Sweden) and –since 2022, a Professor of International Human Rights Law at Africa University (Zimbabwe). He received his Doctor of Laws (PhD) in International law and Master (LL.M) in Comparative and European Legal Studies from Trento University (Italy), and Law degree from the University of Córdoba (Argentina).

His main areas of expertise are international human rights law, with focuses on regional systems of human rights protection, local governance, human rights cities, and sustainable development. Additionally, Alejandro’s expertise convers a diverse set of collective and individual rights questions including cultural diversity, identity, minority, indigenous peoples, and children’s rights.

Some of the foundational questions that currently engage his research are related to balancing potential conflict of rights and how regional human rights courts search for a fair adjudicative balance between conflicting legal interests. For instance, regarding indigenous peoples rights, essential questions relate to how regional tribunals find a fair balance between the protection of their traditional lands and cultural practises, and the interest of national governments to exploit natural resources, support sustainable development and protect environmental rights.

Alejandro also has extensive experience in developing and implementing international development programmes. These programs are aimed at strengthening institutional capacities in partnership with local stakeholders, including governmental institutions and judicial actors, across the globe. These initiatives have largely focused on the advancement of human rights education (HRE) in academia, including the development of clinical legal education (CLE) at partner universities. Alejandro is currently in close collaboration with institutional partners in Africa (Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe); Europe (Belarus, Poland, Armenia, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, and –of course- Scandinavian countries); and the Americas (Mexico, Colombia, Cuba).

For further updates on his research, please refer to his Research profile:


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