Mtetwa scores a first

via Mtetwa scores a first – NewsDay 28 June 2014 Ivan Allan College of Arts

PROMINENT human rights attorney Beatrice Mtetwa has been named recipient of the 2014 Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage, an award given annually to individuals who, by asserting moral principle, positively affected public discourse at the risk of their careers, livelihoods and lives.

“Mtetwa has endured a sometimes painful journey to achieve the larger purpose of freedom and justice for all,” Georgia Tech president GP “Bud” Peterson said.

“That is the promise of a democracy, and Beatrice Mtetwa embodies the effort to fulfil that promise. There are some who, through great personal sacrifice and courage, impact the lives of countless individuals as well as those for generations to come.
Mtetwa is one such person.”

The eldest child in a family of five, Mtetwa grew up on a farm in Swaziland without electricity and running water. She became the first in her extended family to attend high school and went on to study law at the University of Botswana and Swaziland.

After pursuing a career as a government prosecutor, she became disillusioned by the selective justice she saw being doled out and moved into private practice where she was able to conduct human rights work without political interference.

Her dedication to representing those persecuted under the Mugabe regime is represented in the documentary Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law.

Mtetwa has been internationally recognised for her defence of Press freedom and for facing physical assault and threats against her life in her quest to champion civil activists and local and international journalists.

“I am hoping that the message that will be sent out there is that one can be true to their beliefs regardless of whatever dangers might be lurking in the background,” Mtetwa said.

“If more of us were prepared to do this kind of work, it would be more difficult to target them for persecution, and it is my hope that this award will help swell the numbers of people prepared to stand up for what is right.”

The Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage will be presented to Beatrice Mtetwa during a ceremony at the Ivan Allen College on November 13 2014.

The presentation of this year’s award is especially significant as Mtetwa, an advocate for women’s equality and advancement, will be the first woman to receive the prize.

It also comes at a time when government leaders in Zimbabwe are once again persecuting human right defenders such as Mtetwa.

The Ivan Allen Jr Prize for Social Courage is named after Allen, a former mayor of Atlanta and Georgia Tech graduate.

In 1963, Mayor Allen testified before Congress in support of what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, risking his place in society and political future.


  • comment-avatar
    publicprotector 9 years ago

    Its so easy to con a journalist isn’t it?
    Mtetwa is in fact a clever criminal if there is such a thing, its eassy to seem clever with our local journalists.
    She is an alien and there fore bound tpo respect our laws and government or get de[orted as an illegal – she has clearly breached his residence permit.
    She is a member of our law society, the legal practitioners act 1981 states that all members have to promote the law, this means for the sake of the dim that you may challenge a law in the constitutional court but you may not demonstrate against it which in terms of the act is a criminal offence.
    She is a con artist who only is interested in personal wealth from western funding embassy’s in return for anti government propaganda and keeping herself out of jail.
    This the law, which journalists unfortunately are never conversant with, bereft of media ethics as they are.

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    Gomogranny 9 years ago

    If we had even TWO so called “leaders” in this country with the courage and intellect of Beatrice we would not be in the mess we are in now. You so called men of ZANU and MDC have neither the ethics, the integrity nor the backbone of this woman. Shame on you all. I have no doubt your answers will be “BRING HER DOWN”.

  • comment-avatar

    this woman has been an instrument of defiance against zanu oppression.

    • comment-avatar
      Gomogranny 9 years ago

      You are wrong Supermondo….an instrument is something that is used. She is no instrument. She is a person of her own conviction and courage… but it’s so hard for you men to stand up and admit it because not a one of you has half the steel of this woman.

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    kutongwa nonjazi 9 years ago

    What a courageous woman. God bless you for justice is what God what and injustice is for the devil and his children.

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    mucha 9 years ago

    She is a monkey

    • comment-avatar
      Gomogranny 9 years ago

      And what would that make YOU, Mucha… amoeba perhaps? Quickly Mucha run to the dictionary and see what an amoeba is….Oh, what do you mean what is a dictionary? Pathetic….

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    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    Mtetwa, Williams and Mahlangu ,My hat off for these ladies . They have more courage than ten of me put together. RESPECT.!!

  • comment-avatar
    Expat 9 years ago

    Hear hear. Roving Ambassador. In every revolution there are individuals who are looked to for direction, who have the courage to stand and look their opponents in the eye and say what needs to be said. Mtetwa, Williams and Mahlangu are such individules.