Policies & Issues

Human Rights Activist Dewa Mavhinga Dies

Policies & IssuesDec 08, 2021

Human Rights Activist Dewa Mavhinga Dies

He had recently been supporting the protestors of a Marange diamond miner.

Johannesburg—Human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga, who was recently lending his support to those protesting a diamond miner in Marange, died Dec. 4.

The cause of death was not disclosed as of press time.   

Mavhinga started with Human Rights Watch as senior Zimbabwe researcher in 2012, spending years documenting human rights violations in his native country during the final years of the Robert Mugabe government, HRW said in an online obituary

At the time of his death, he was the Southern Africa director, overseeing and supporting a broad range of work in the region, including exposing and bringing an end to political repression, forced evictions of indigenous people, and violence and discrimination against women, LGBT people, and foreigners, as well as demanding access to clean water and fair distribution of vaccines and COVID-19 relief packages. 

Prior to HRW, he served as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator from 2009-2012. 

In 2012, he co-founded the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, a public policy research think-tank. He also served on the board of directors for the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance. 

Mavhinga was known for his passion, commitment, and leadership in human rights, but also his big heart and the kindness and solidarity he showed to others, HRW said. 

“Dewa was a deeply empathetic and highly effective human rights activist whose work made many people’s lives better, whether it was pushing the Zimbabwe government to respect the right to protest in the face of economic hardship or ensuring that victims of human rights abuses across Southern Africa have access to justice,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

He was a big supporter of the Marange Women’s Alliance, which is sponsored by the Responsible Jewelry Transformative (RJT).

Though he oversaw human rights activism in multiple countries, Mavhinga never hesitated to answer calls or texts immediately and share contacts and his support, said Susan Wheeler, jewelry designer and founder of RJT.

“He was super caring, super nice, and super helpful,” Wheeler told National Jeweler. “Everyone felt very safe knowing he had our backs.”

Recently this support had extended to the local protests of a diamond miner called Anjin resuming operations in Zimbabwe’s Marange region and those involved. 

Mavhinga is survived by his wife, Fiona, and their four children.  
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

Recorded WebinarsJan 14, 2022
Watch: What Will 2022 Bring?

Sherry Smith, Peter Smith and Edahn Golan join Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff and try to answer the question, how long will the party last?

EditorsJan 14, 2022
See a Few of Betty White’s Best Jewelry Looks

Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff celebrates the Golden Girl’s jewelry style ahead of what would’ve been her 100th birthday.

TrendsJan 14, 2022
All About Megan Fox’s Engagement Ring from Machine Gun Kelly

Designed by Stephen Webster, it’s a ring-stack take on the toi et moi style.

Brought to you by
Melee the Show Launches Tucson Event, Returns to New York in 2022

The boutique tradeshow, happening first in Tucson then New York City, brings together upscale designers from around the world.

GradingJan 14, 2022
GIA Names Anna Martin SVP for Institute, Industry Relations

She previously served as its senior vice president of business development and beneficiation.

Weekly QuizJan 13, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
TrendsJan 14, 2022
Piece of the Week: Made by Malyia’s Plunging Ocean Wave Hoops

Combining thoughtful design and wearability, they were a standout of 2021.

SourcingJan 13, 2022
Part of the Red Beryl Mine Is Producing Again, One Owner Says

Red Emerald Inc., which is under new ownership, started mining at the Utah site last spring.

Brought to you by
Rare & Forever Can Help You Tell A New Story At The Counter And Close More Sales!

A.I. technology is revolutionizing the jewelry business through more accurate and consistent diamond grading.

MajorsJan 13, 2022
Robbins Brothers’ Management Buys Back Company

The jewelry store chain was sold to a private equity firm as part of bankruptcy proceedings in 2009.