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Beatrice Mtetwa has the right to be here

In 1962 Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Tanzania.

From the Editor’s Desk by Nevanji Madanhire

This effectively made him the Tanzanian government’s chief legal officer.

In 1994 Simpson Mutambanengwe was appointed to the Namibian High Court. He also served on the Supreme Court of that country, both as acting Chief Justice and, after his retirement, several times as Acting-Judge of Appeal.

Esmail Chatikobo, quit the Zimbabwean bench in July 2001 to join the Botswana High Court. He died in 2009 aged 50 of heart failure.
Justice Moses Chinhengo is presently a High Court judge in Botswana.

The great lawyers cited above never denounced their Zimbabwean citizenship on taking up these positions in foreign lands because it was needless to do so. Indeed Zimbabwe has exported great legal minds abroad and as a country we should all be proud of this.

Zimbabwean expatriates are working in high positions all over the world. You find Zimbabwean professors in almost every reputable university in the world. They are where they are mostly because of their personal achievements. They have been able to work in foreign governments and institutions primarily because these governments and institutions have seen their qualifications, professionalism and have liked the value they add.

We have heard that there are at least five Zimbabwean engineers working at the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence. Unconfirmed reports say our own Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara once worked there applying his knowledge of Robotics and Mechatronics for research.

For foreigners to even be considered for work at the hub of US military might is unimaginable if one doesn’t consider the US philosophy of harnessing the world’s greatest brains in all fields, including heart surgery and nuclear physics. Albert Einstein’s greatest achievements came after immigrating to the US.

Nations that employ foreigners in highly specialised fields for their own benefit have outgrown some of the irrational feelings brought about by an overplayed sense of nationalism. Xenophobia is one such irrational sentiment. Interestingly Zimbabwe is said to have three million of its children working in different fields across the world. This would suggest Zimbabweans should be the last people to hate foreigners working in their midst.

People and newspapers that promote xenophobia do not appreciate the extent to which this irrational hatred of foreigners can go. The brutal murder of Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave, a 35-year-old Mozambican who was burned to death during the xenophobic violence in South Africa in May 2008 continues to haunt the world today.

The photographs of him burning were carried in newspapers and television stations across the world in a manner that brought home just how barbaric violence against foreigners can be.

In the past few weeks we have seen and read articles about top human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa which have sought to isolate her as an unwanted foreigner meddling in our affairs. Not only have the articles been full of untruths, but disturbingly they have sought to make her a legitimate target for attack. It may no longer be safe for her to walk freely in the streets of Harare.

The articles have been based on outright lies about her immigration status. Legal experts such as world-renowned author Petina Gappah have said about the articles, “The worst things are the legal inaccuracies; they quote provisions on citizenship that do not apply to her at all, and imply that she is here illegally.”

The truth of the matter, Gappah says, is that, “Mtetwa is a permanent resident, [though] not a citizen. So she is allowed to travel on her Swazi passport. She is also allowed, as confirmed by a Supreme Court judgement, as a permanent resident of Zimbabwe, to engage in employment or other gainful activity in any part of Zimbabwe.”

What is sickening is how these peddlers of falsehoods on Mtetwa’s immigration status have unashamedly gone on to attack her private life. All sorts of lewd names have been used to describe her relationship with former husband, mathematician, Dr David Mtetwa, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe.

Dr Mtetwa was good enough to refuse to talk about his former wife and has also requested that his privacy to be respected. These personal attacks on Mtetwa reveal another phobia at the heart of the writers who have sought to vilify her — misogyny, the hatred for women and girls. All her detractors have emerged to be men who feel threatened by her achievements and who wish to endear themselves to the system because they cannot survive outside of it.

Misogyny manifests itself in several ways such as “sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women and sexual objectification of women”.

Because she is woman, Mtetwa is being portrayed not as a successful legal practitioner but as an agent of foreign forces and a loose woman. There have been male lawyers who have defended human rights as robustly as Mtetwa has done but we have not seen them described in the uncharitable words that she has been described with. Some of the expletives used to describe her have shamed us a nation because they can’t be used in polite society.

How many male lawyers have divorced and moved on with their lives? Have these been labelled the way Mtetwa has been by these shameless writers? The principal motive behind this denigration is to make it easy for political thugs to physically attack her when they see her on the street. We have seen how in Zimbabwe women cannot be allowed their own individuality without being labelled prostitutes. We have seen how women going about their legitimate business have been surrounded by the police and incarcerated on the false accusation that they were loitering for the purpose of prostitution. We have seen how commuter omnibus touts and louts have with impunity attacked women and girls for dressing the way they feel. The idea behind the writings we have read recently on Mtetwa is to bunch her with all the women who have been deemed unsuitable to live in our society, so she too can be a legitimate target for physical violence.

The truth of the matter is that Beatrice Mtetwa is working legally in Zimbabwe and has every right to excel in the field of her choice without discrimination. She has no apologies to make about her Swazi links in the same way that Chitepo, Mutambanengwe, Chinhengo and other Zimbawean expatriates working in foreign lands had no apologies to make for occupying the various spaces they did or still do.

27 Responses to Beatrice Mtetwa has the right to be here

  1. benjamin April 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    those are stupid sycophants the likes jonathan moyo the guy disgusts me he is a stain on the good name of mankind

    • tafamutekwe April 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Jonathan moyo and tafataona mahoso are an embarrasment to the academic fraternity.Everything they write or say in the press is about grandstanding for a zanu-pf gallery.Varume vaviri ava ndiwo mahwindi chaiwo panoverengwa vanhu vakadzidza.

  2. Moe_Syszlak April 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Amen. Well said. Violence and gutter language always intertwined if you are a ZANUoid. Just check Charamba’s Manheru column, Mahoso or Rwaivhi Jona.

  3. Gutter Poet April 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Disgusting as word does not even begin to desscribe this human filth..after failing to bring her down fairly now they are resorting beyond the gutter ugliness. And some of them are professors to boot..what kind of animals are these? I think Mr. Gumbo as the chief spokesperson for the party should put his foot down, these idiots have no business in the local body politic.. That they are this shameless says more about them than the villification they have thrown at Mutetwa. The ordure they were hoping to stick on the face of this lady is now covering their own ugly faces! Salutation is appropriate for Dr. Mtetwa who rightly refused to be soiled by these ‘everything ugly’ merchants!

  4. Farai Grinder Matebvu April 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Well said my Editor. Zanuistification against humanity, sharp brains, alternative voices is highly regretable and this will end by september 16.

  5. Madzibaba April 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Nonsense, this Mtetwa whore must not bad mouth our beloved country as we have not bad mouthed her Swazi land, she must be grateful that the same government that she is badmouthing has given her a home. I so wish that the government could revoke her permanent residency status. We are sick and tired of foreigners who come into the country and work as agents of Western change, people who so defend even evil rights like gay rights (sic).

    She has to show allegiances to Zimbabwe and not his Western sponsors. I am happy that she has been reminded that she is a foreigner in Zimbabwe and that a fact.

    Mtetwa must have her permanent residency status revoked.

    • Hacha Ndizvo April 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Its your mother who is a whore because if she wasn’t she would not have spawned such a confirmed and unrehabilitative bastard such as you.

      • james April 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

        i dont know if u are not worse than waurikutuka. Mai vake vapinda papi apa. So much good command of this language gone 2 waste. U really are proving 2 be worse than wauri kutuka. Shame on u

    • In Swaziland April 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      mukosho wamai,unofunga kuti akauya kuzokupedzera matamba.
      munopedza matamba nekutema miti mafuza.she is a lawyer

  6. Van al Rautenbach April 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Madzibaba you are stupid upstairs,so blinded you think the West are plotting to destroy this country.Its people like you who bootlick Zanu Pf a selfish party that has destroyed lives of millions for personal shameless gain.Anyone who opposes Zanu pf is an agent of the West.How dare you speak lowly of a person defending the rights of many.What are doing yourself to contribute to society.You selfish bastard wait until Zanu pf bites you in your arse then you will taste their own medicine.You are a disgrace to this nation ,you sold your soul to the highest bidder forgeting you have children that will live the coming generation.They shall suffer because of ignorant parents like you with selfish,devlish agendas.

  7. PhilaniNcube April 8, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Who has a right to vet people that they are Zimbabweans?we do not tolerate a situation whereby a few people try to make themselves super powers by going around vetting other people.why are they also here?were they in this country before?

  8. chinoz April 8, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    god is on her side

  9. Henza April 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Madzibaba has a point, even if she has a permanent residence , she cannot use this to deminise our govt, we cannot allow foreigners to be champions of our human rights as if she is more concerned about zimbabwe than ourselves. Her video about Zimbabwe is inaccurate about Zimbabwe.

    • Henza April 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm #


  10. gula April 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Madzibaba and henza you are nothing but mere dogs!!

  11. the colonel April 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Zimbabweans shuld be the last people to make xenophobic statements coz we are scattered world over. Henza and madzibaba are gays thats why they talk like that. Beatrice is not a political activist she is a lawyer and is very good at interpreting the law.

  12. Zooom April 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Anyone who is non-Zanu is deemed unfit to live and work in Zimbabwe. This is the concept that Mugabe brought to our beloved country. It hates so much that at times i wish i were not Zimbabwean. Mugabe has made Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans the laughing stock of the world.

  13. MTHOKOE April 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Madzibaba & Henza. It saddens that @ this 21century there are still some people like you who can not read between the lines . Guyz zanu pf has brain washed yu to such an extent that you are now a disgrace to human hood, you are like animals which can’t think on their own, shame on you.

  14. Mangurenje April 13, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Madzibaba and Henza are right. We don’t export law bandits like Mtetwa to Botswana or Namibia.Let Zimbabweans fight for themselves. We do not need jihad prostitutes here. Let her to Syria. %!*?

  15. Mangure April 13, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Madzibaba and Henza are right. We don’t export law bandits like Mtetwa to Botswana or Namibia.Let Zimbabweans fight for themselves. We do not need jihad prostitutes here. Let her go to Syria where jihadist prostitutes are needed. %!*?

  16. Mushipayi April 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Henza and Madzibaba are right. We don’t export law bandits like Mtetwa to Botswana or Namibia.Let Zimbabweans fight for themselves. We do not need jihad prostitutes here. Let her go to Syria where jihadist prostitutes are needed. %!*?

  17. Chinenguwo Murombo April 14, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    I salute Beatrice Mtetwa for her courage ,bravery & fortitude against the evil Zanuiods.Tribute &nuff respect to Beatrice 4 defending various /countless pple against state manufactured,spurrious allegations.What the evil Zanuiods should realise is that the end is nigh ,they are fast approaching their Waterloo.The Zanu pf forces of brutality are going to be defeated.

  18. Siziba Mageja April 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I have no problem with Beatrice defending human rights cases in our courts for locals & foreigners. But where she crosses the line as an outsider is when she demeans our Head of State the way she does when playing to the gallery – imbwa dza Mugabe. If she were to do such a thing in America or Britain she would not know what would have hit her in the first place. She would be in real hot soup. But in Zim, we just let her off the hook after spending a few days in remand prison.

    In reply to Chinenguwo Murombo & other like minded people.

    • Mwana Wevhu Real April 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      Little knowledge is dangerous!!in America there is what’s called the First Ammendment.noone is criminalised for insulting the President ok,I live in the US so I know what I’m talking about.

  19. Mabhunu Muchapera April 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    wat does yo living in USA min to us? myopic mind! if Mtetwa is so good a human rights lawyer, there r some nations out there who myt nid her assistance nt Zim. Gues there z nid for u people to revisit th minin of SOVEREIGNITY!

  20. Jojo April 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    One thing that i have seen about ZanuPF is u get offended by small things. Small things somone is imprisoned. Look at SA Zuma is made fun off evrytime. But in Zimbabwe carry a camera and start taking pictures u are in for it, it happned with a Student pastor who came from UK and he was taking pictures of children who wer dancing traditional dance at a school and he was imprisoned for 5 hours, i was so embarasd. Lets mind our own businss caus evry little thing its the West, lets focus on rebuilding our nation. We are always consious of evil than good. Lets change our mindset.

  21. railwayworker April 21, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Tiri kuda kuti atomirira vakadzi vanoshanda muNRZ or vane varume vemuNRZ varikutadza kutenga mapanty,pads,chikafu chevana,school fees,rent nekuda kwemunhu akaiswa nezanu pf anonzi mike tichafa karakadzai atambudza mhuri yeNRZ nekutinyima pay for 10 months.

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