Elasto H. Mugwadi
Commissioner Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi is the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).
He was sworn into office in 2010 with the first group of Commissioners and became the Chairperson of the Commission in 2014.
Commissioner Mugwadi holds a Bachelor of Administration (Hons) degree from the University of Rhodesia and a Master of Science degree (MSc) in International Relations. He also holds a Diploma in Development Studies from the University of Oslo, an Intermediate Degree in Law from UNISA, LLB (UNISA) and LLM (UNISA).
Commissioner Mugwadi is a former Chief Immigration Officer of Zimbabwe having worked at the institution for 23 years. He is also a legal practitioner at Mugwadi and Associates since 2007.
He is a successful commercial farmer.
Dr Ellen Sithole
Dr Ellen Sithole a Commissioner and Deputy Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has a Doctorate in Law, a Master of Laws (LLM) and two Bachelor degrees (BL and LLB) in law from the Universities of Toronto, York (Canada) and Zimbabwe respectively. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of Procedural Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zimbabwe (on leave until 30 April 2020) and a former Deputy Dean.
Commissioner Sithole is a firm believer in the value and inherent dignity of every human being. This belief is inspired by her strong Christian faith. As a result, she is very passionate about human rights, particularly the rights of women and of the poor and vulnerable. As a lawyer, she has received formal training in human rights law.
Commissioner Sithole has researched and published on women and access to justice in Zimbabwe and on other issues relating to women, gender and human rights. She has worked with a number of organisations which seek to promote women’s human rights and those of other vulnerable groups such as Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust (WLSA), Women’s Action Group (WAG), Zimbabwe Aids Network (ZAN) and Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA).
Commissioner Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). He chairs the Thematic Working group on Socio-Economic and Cultural Rights.
Commissioner Ndabeni-Ncube trained as a primary school teacher in the 1950s and taught at Njube Primary School from 1960 to 1963. He then joined the Liberation Movement in the youth wing of the Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union (ZAPU) and left the country for Zambia late in 1963. He spent the next four years (1964 – 1968) in Zambia and Tanzania before going for further studies in Europe beginning with a short stay in Germany where he completed his A’ Level equivalent before moving to the U.K.
Commissioner Ndabeni-Ncube obtained a B.A Honours Degree (Economics and Politics) from Lancaster University (1971) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Economics (1973) at the University of Wales, Bango. During the period 1973 – 1977 he was seconded to the Government of Jamaica – West Indies, where he was first attached to the Ministry of Finance and Commerce as Assistant Director before moving to the Prime Minister’s Office.
In 1978, Commissioner Ncube went to the USA to study for a Master’s Degree in Economics at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee (1980) and after that he did odd jobs before returning home in 1982. Between 1982 and 1984, he was employed by the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), in Harare as a Senior Economist. Commissioner Ncube became a Lecturer at the Bulawayo Polytechnic in 1985 before joining the Bulawayo City Council (1996) where he worked first as a Senior Administrative Officer and then as an Assistant Director in the Department of Housing and Community Services. This is where he brushed shoulders with the ordinary people with dire concerns and hardships and became involved in addressing their needs, frustrations and concerns.
In 2001, Commissioner Ncube was elected an Executive Mayor of the City of Bulawayo, a position he held until 2008. He used this position to get closest to the people as a whole and in particular the disadvantaged lot. In addressing the needs and concerns of the disadvantaged, he formed an Ad Hoc Committee that focused on the concerns of the Elderly, Women and Children.
The Committee worked and liaised with some NGOs, CSOs, private sector companies and churches in assisting these disadvantaged groups of people in Bulawayo. Commissioner Ndabeni-Ncube is married and blessed with children, grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Sheila Hilary Matindike
Mrs Sheila Hilary Matindike is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). She chairs the Thematic Working Group on Special Interest Groups (youth, elderly and persons living with disabilities).
Commissioner Matindike was born and raised in Zvishavane but hails from Filabusi, in the Gwatemba Purchase Area Farms. She comes from a family of five children and is the second born. She is a widow who has two adult daughters and two granddaughters.
Commissioner Matindike was educated at various schools in Filabusi, Zvishavane, Gwanda and Loreto (near Kwekwe). For tertiary education, she attended Bondolfi Teachers’ Training College, the School of Social Work and the University of Zimbabwe where she graduated as a Teacher, a Social Worker and a Sociologist respectively.
Commissioner Matindike holds several work related certificates that comprise of Leadership, Peace-building, Mediation and Conflict Management, Trauma and HIV and AIDS Counselling. She is trained in strategic planning and in implementing the internationally-adopted World YWCA Standards of Good Management. She is an accomplished author of Ndebele text books, Ilifa Lesizwe and co-adapted an English textbook, Structures and Skills in English.
Commissioner Matindike has practiced as a teacher at both primary and secondary level. She has worked as a Probation Officer as well as a Refugee Officer within the Department of Social Welfare. She has presented papers at the World YWCA organized Council and International Women’s Summit as well as at the side events during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women(UNCSW54)and at the review of the implementation of UN Resolution 1325(2011).She has attended the side events of the African Union Commission under the banner Gender is my Agenda Campaign(GIMAC) and the maiden opening of the African Union Summit Session by the first female chairperson, Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, as a mentor of young women.
Commissioner Matindike has vast experience, spanning over twenty years, working with communities through the YWCA where she was the National General Secretary of the World Affiliated Organization that is in over 120 countries with 25 million women and girls. Her work focused on women’s rights issues including women’s participation in national and international processes, capacity-building through leadership training, skills development, reproductive health rights, HIV and AIDS, management of project centres, conference facilities and women’s hostels. Commissioner Matindike is widely travelled both nationally and internationally, monitoring the uptake of programmes designed for women and communities they live in as well as advocate for women’s rights at international platforms. In addition, Commissioner Matindike has mentored a number of young women through local and international internships, a number of whom have taken international jobs.
Commissioner Matindike has held various board positions at both national and international level, comprising the National Association of Non-governmental Organizations (NANGO), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Christian Care, Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum (ECLF), and internationally, the World YWCA. She has also served on the planning committee of a Catholic related sub-regional organization of ten countries, called IMBISA (Inter-regional Meeting of the Bishops in Southern Africa).Through these positions Commissioner Matindike acquired a fair understanding of national processes and common issues within the African continent as well as the link between global and local issues.
Petunia S. Chiriseri
Commissioner Petunia Chiriseri is a DBL (Doctorate in Business Leadership) student with the University of South Africa. She holds a Masters in Business Leadership from the same university and a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Zoology as well as the Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Zimbabwe, among various other qualifications.
Currently, she is a Chaplain of the City of Harare, since 2010. Commissioner Chiriseri has over 30 years Teaching and Christian Leadership experience and is the Founder and Director of Legacy International School, a multicultural, co-educational Christian private school in Greystone Park, Borrowdale which offers an enriched and extended Grades 0 to 7 curriculum, taught by qualified and highly experienced teachers like Mrs Katie Greener, the former deputy head of a local private school.
Commissioner Chiriseri has been involved in a series of advocacy activities as the Founder of Christian Mothers’ Voice, a nationwide grassroots movement formed to create constitutional awareness and the inclusion of Women’s Voice in Africa. Her research work, civic education and political activism through Radio, TV, Newspapers and other platforms made contributions towards a people driven constitution, and to COPAC during the Constitution Making Process in Zimbabwe. As Co-Founder of Concerned Christian Leaders Network, which lead The Hunhu/Ubuntu campaign, her group passionately lobbied the church, political leaders and legislators in 2010 – 2013, before the referendum, to preserve the values that bind us as a nation.
Commissioner Petunia Chiriseri is the Co-Founder and Senior Pastor of His Presence Ministries International, Founder and President of The Shekinah Woman Ministry. She is the Co-Author of the 12 Foundations of Marriage, a diagnostic tool for solving marital and family problems which has given birth to many happy families. She herself is happily married to Apostle Charles Chiriseri, the Founder of His Presence Ministries International, and is a mother of four wonderful biological and four foster children.
The Commissioner is also a Corporate Training Consultant in Transformational Personal, Family Life and Business Development and an International Motivational Speaker.
Kwanele Muriel Jirira
Commissioner Kwanele Muriel Jirira is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) where she chairs the Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights.
She has over 30 years’ experience working in women’s rights and gender rights activities and has a background in social work and political science. She holds BS and MA degrees from the United States -Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh. She also has qualifications in political economy from the New School for Social Research (now New School) in New York City (ABD status). She has received further training in conciliation and mediation and gender auditing from the ILO. Commissioner Jirira is also a gender budgeting trainer. She has trained women parliamentarians and councilors and government finance officers. She has over 24 years of research experience from the Institute of Development Studies/ University of Zimbabwe -1986-2010.
Commissioner Jirira also taught a course on gender and industrial relations/ labour issues at the University of Zimbabwe for over 5 years and is a women’s activist with a passion for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Commissioner Jirira was once a former board member for Women’s University in Africa (WUA). As an academician, Commissioner Jirira has done several consultancies/ networking/ Expert Group/ publications for UNDP (contributed to the Zimbabwe Human Development Report, gender budget training), UNICEF, ILO, UNFPA, UNIDO, UN-Habitat, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, The Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre (ZWRCN), Commonwealth Foundation, Gender links, Municipal Development and Partnership organization, ACBF and ZILGA on various areas such as gender and agriculture, gender and land, gender and education (ZWRCN), gender and local government (Gender links), gender mainstreaming (OSSREA) and gender and trade unions.
Commissioner Jirira has extensively travelled in Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa). She has also travelled to Europe (Austria, Italy, Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom), Pacific (Fiji, Sri Lanka and New Zealand) and the Caribbean (Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago). She was also a Commonwealth Fellow (2000). Commissioner Jirira is a published poet and loves poetry and jazz music. She is a mother of two.
Commissioner Sethulo Ncube is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). She chairs the Thematic Working Group on Capacity Building and Development.
Commissioner Ncube is a legal practitioner registered with the Law Society of Zimbabwe since 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) (Hons), a Master’s Degree in Women’s Law and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights Specialising in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. She is currently the coordinator at the Southern Region Office of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA). She has previously worked in various NGOs and has also worked as a public prosecutor.
Commissioner Ncube sits on various NGO boards in Bulawayo including, Habakkuk Trust (2006-2014), AIDS Education and Training (ACET), Bulawayo Agenda (2012-2014), Zimbabwe Climate Change Organisation (ZiCCO) and Emthonjeni Women’s Forum. She is also a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.
Dr Joseph Kurebwa
Commissioner Dr Joseph Kurebwa is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). He joined the Commission at its inception in March 2010. He chairs the Commission’s Thematic Working Group on Civil and Political Rights.
Born on 11 May 1966, Commissioner Kurebwa attended Chatikobo Primary and Secondary Schools and Chivi High School in Masvingo Province. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA), a Bachelor of Science Honours degree (BSc) in Political and Administrative Studies, and a Master of Science degree (MSc) in International Relations and a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe.
Dr Kurebwa was appointed lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Zimbabwe in 1996. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the same department but he has also previously served as the chairperson of the department. His areas of research interest include political theory, international relations and governments.
Prior to joining the University of Zimbabwe, Dr Kurebwa taught at various schools in Masvingo, Midlands and Harare provinces.
Commissioner Kurebwa is also a political consultant with extensive experience in the areas of political violence, elections, parliamentary reform and economic sanctions. He has published a book titled The Politics of Economic Sanctions on Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) 1965 to 1979 and his upcoming work is on the liberation struggle and self-rule in Zimbabwe.
Commissioner Kurebwa is married with two children and is also a farmer.