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.