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Alice Kuvheya

Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST)

Alice Kuvheya is a woman human rights defender and director of Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST). CHITREST is a community and membership based residents association based in Chitungwiza. CHITREST was founded in 2013 and is legally registered as a Trust. The community trust works to provide civic education and human rights advocacy at a community level, but also carries out advocacy on health and environmental issues. Alice Kuvheya has been advocating for the protection of informal trade structures and homes in Chitungwiza and Harare.

Despite numerous challenges, Zimbabwe has an active civil society advocating for a broad range of human rights issues, yet increasing numbers of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists are being targeted due to their legitimate human rights work. This has included being subjected to threats, arbitrary detention, abductions and enforced disappearances and the police are able to act with impunity. In particular, human rights defenders tackling issues concerning corruption, public accountability and impunity have been targeted.

In May 2013, a new constitution was adopted which enshrines a number of fundamental rights including the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression as well as political participation. However, restrictive legislation continues to impinge on the work of human rights defenders and civil society organisations are still subjected to prohibitive legal restraints. Despite calls from the international community, the government has not yet aligned its legislation with this new constitution.