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Celebrated rights defender Dewa Mavhinga set for Sunday burial


Zimstar News

Late prominent human rights defender, Dewa Mavhinga will finally be laid to rest at his Chivhu rural home on Sunday, 15 days after he sadly died in South Africa, where he was based.

Family spokesperson Valentine Chikosi told Zimstar News Friday the body of the former Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch was expected in the country this Saturday or early Sunday in time for the planned burial.

“Dewa will be laid to rest at his rural home in Whirisha Chivhu; tentative Sunday,” he said.

“The area of burial is Majumba in Chivhu, Hwirisha where he grew up.”


Chikosi, uncle to the late activist, said the delay in his burial was due to a cumbersome process of preparing his post-mortem and processing of repatriation papers.

A cutting edge activist who always kept the Zanu PF led administration on its toes, Mavhinga’s death was initially met with cautious suspicion from some of his colleagues who could not immediately rule out foul play.

A post-mortem has since been done and the result is now known to the family.

Chikosi could not be drawn into any disclosure of the outcome, only preferring to say, “It (post-mortem) was done; however, we are not yet sharing the results at the moment.


“We have accepted the results as given…as family, we respect that.”

Meanwhile, no prominent politician among Mavhinga’s many friends in the opposition has since been confirmed as among those attending the funeral.

Chikosi said, “We did not issue invitations to specific individuals…we are not aware of who is attending and who is not attending.

“We haven’t received any notifications of such. So, we don’t know who will be there.”

In an earlier group message comprising friends of the former Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator, the number of those attending the funeral “will be limited and controlled” due to Covid-19.

“Thank you for standing with the family for the past 14 days, and for standing with them in future. As we collectively grieve and celebrate Dewa’s purposeful life, let love, and solidarity lead,” posted lawyer Otto Saki, who has been coordinating the communication process with family and sharing it on the group.

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