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Zenzele Ndebele

Zenzele Ndebele

HRD, Journalist
Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)

Zenzele Ndebele is a journalist, entrepreneur, Founder/Director of the Centre for Innovation and technology (CITE), and a member of the Matabeleland Collective, a network of Civil Society Organisations and Churches based in Bulawayo which aims to tackle issues related to freedom of expression. The Collective tabled a four-pronged document to President Mnangagwa, at the top of which were issues concerning the region’s Gukurahundi atrocities, national healing and the devolution of power concept. At the meeting with the President, Zenzele was arrested at the State House in Bulawayo after a used tear gas canister and used cartridge  were found in his car. He was charged with possession of dangerous weapons at a public gathering; charges were dismissed by the Bulawayo magistrate’s court. Following the incident, which included searching of CITE offices by state security agents, Zenzele has been under surveillance and there have been attempts by state agents to turn other CITE staff members into informers.

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.