Image Via: Linked In
|Education||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||Political Activism,|
|Parent(s)||Stephen Mahere (father)|
Fadzayi Mahere is a Zimbabwean advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. She's also a political activist who has been very vocal in her opposition to Zanu-PF governance since about 2015. She has been one of the most prominent members of #ThisFlag Movement. She has also announced that she will be contesting as an Independent in next year's harmonised elections where she will be running for Member of Parliament of Mount Pleasant, her home area.
Mahere attended Arundel High School for her high school education before enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe where she studied for a Bachelors of Law Honours degree (LLB Hons) from 2004 to 2008. While at the University of Zimbabwe, she was Lead Counsel for the Zimbabwean Team that won the All Africa International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition in Arusha, Tanzania in 2007 and was awarded Prize for the Best Oral Argument in the Finals. Mahere was also Lead Counsel for University of Zimbabwe Team that won the National Moot Court Competition on International Humanitarian Law and in 2006 she got the opportunity to be Zimbabwe's Representative at UNICEF African Video Conference on HIV/AIDS.
After graduating from the University of Zimbabwe she proceeded to the University of Cambridge in 2010, for a Master of Laws, International Criminal Law & International Commercial Litigation before graduating in 2011. Her special area of focus was on election violence as a crime against humanity under international law. During her studies at Cambridge she was a member of the Cambridge Law Society Cambridge Pro Bono Project Cambridge-Texas Defender Services Cambridge Union Debater.
Mahere practiced for a year in the Prosecution Division of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
- Advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe from January 2012 – Present, Harare
- International Criminal Lawyer - Office of the Prosecutor-International Criminal Court from 2009 – 2010 (1 year)
- Lawyer for Gollop and Blank Legal Practitioners from 2007 – 2009 (2 years)
- Legal Researcher - Office of the Prosecutor for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2008 – 2008 (less than a year)
Criticism Of Bond Notes
In June 2016, Mahere was part of a delegation put together by This Flag Movement to meet with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya concerning the introduction of the bond notes. The delegation consisted of Vince Musewe and Evan Mawarire who gave the opening remarks and reiterated that the citizens did not want the bond notes.
At the event Mahere highlighted that the bond notes were unconstitutional as it goes against Chapter 17 of the Constitution which speaks on public finance. You can watch the video of her presentation below:
Criticism of Evan Mawarire's Leaving Zimbabwe
In August 2016, Mahere criticised Mawarire for betraying the hatichatya – we are not afraid message that had been the tagline of the ThisFlag movement.
He told us all not to fear – on radio, in his videos, on social media and in the street. There is no denying that many were emboldened by his mantra and his leadership. Over the months that he ran his campaign, many regular citizens made themselves more vulnerable than they otherwise would have.
...It came as a confusing shock to many when he decided to leave the country barely a day after an overwhelming 5000 strong crowd came to the courthouse in Harare to stand with him and denounce fear. His explanation for leaving is that he fears what the state may do to him when he returns.
...Was he lying when he said he wasn’t afraid? Is he now afraid? ...Or does he now have asylum? If he has, we have to accept do we not that this is a monumental betrayal of many Zimbabweans who stood beside him and made themselves equally vulnerable to attacks by the system?.
In response, some Zimbabweans criticised her for assuming that everyone enjoyed the kind of safety she enjoyed as the daughter of a Zanu-PF member.
Letter To The President
Following Robert Mugabe's address to war veterans on 27 July 2016, Mahere wrote an open letter to him on her Facebook wall asking if the President was joking when he enacted the new constitution that gives people the freedom to expression.
Dearest Mr President
Some Zimbabweans get sorely frustrated to a point where they opt to use expletives in respect of you. Some – in your own party, as you will no doubt be aware, plot your downfall behind your back. Some ignore what you have to say and get on with the business of living.
I operate slightly differently – I listen to what you have to say – and I think – and critically. Mr President, I cannot help thinking. I am a slave to reason. I think about everything – big or small. When something does not make sense to me, it nags me like an itch I can’t reach. I try to ignore it and try and move on with my daily life – but the itch doesn’t go away. So I have been thinking about your speech yesterday, addressed to war veterans but touching on us all. I actually tuned in. Afterwards, I tried to continue as though nothing had happened but I couldn’t. I am itching and I cannot reach. Arising from what you said, therefore, I have a few questions to ask and observations to make. I say everything with respect and don’t intend to insult or subvert you – I genuinely wish to understand.
Were you just kidding around when you enacted the Constitution together with Parliament on the 22nd of May 2013? Was it all a sham? Have you changed your mind perhaps about what you were signing into law? If you have, surely you’d have to change the Constitution before you start acting so contrary to it?Until it is changed, surely it is binding – on you, on me, on everyone?
You said many things in your address yesterday but what struck me most was your assertion that “once [citizens] begin to get involved with our politics you are courting real trouble, we know how to deal with our enemies who have been trying all along to effect regime change.” This was addressed inter alia to #thisflaggers. What I understood this to mean is that we cannot, as ordinary people, question our politicians or speak out against issues we feel may need to change. It also appears implicit that we are not, in exercising our political choices entitled to disagree with you in particular and Zanu PF in general.
Surely this threat runs directly counter to our rights under section 67 of the Constitution? Section 67(1)(b) of the Constitution gives us the right to make political choices freely – in other words without you calling us enemies, threatening to unleash the police on us or calling us “nonsense.” Section 67(2)(a) proceeds to give us the right to form, to join and to participate in the activities of a political party or organisation of our choice. The Constitution thus allows us to join and participate in the activities of #thisflag. Section 67(2)(b) allows us to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause. #thisflag is a cause we choose to campaign for. Surely, we cannot be hindered in doing so? Free means free – without the threat of reprisals.
Most crucially, Mr President, section 67(2)(d) allows us to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner (including #thisflag posts on social media) in peaceful activities to influence, CHALLENGE or SUPPORT the policies of the government or *any* political party or *whatever* cause. This section accordingly allows me to CHALLENGE the policies of the Government and Zanu PF and to SUPPORT #thisflag.
These are my constitutional rights as a citizen. Section 2 of the Constitution (not me) provides that the Constitution is the SUPREME law of Zimbabwe (in other words it overrides the Constitution of Zanu PF or your personal sentiments on any issue). *Any* law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. The inescapable conclusion therefore, is that to the extent that you undermined my political rights guaranteed by section 67 in your speech yesterday, your conduct in so doing was unconstitutional and invalid.
With all due respect, Mr President, this is not an insult or subversion. It’s the law, the supreme law that you agreed to, enacted and promised to respect.
Have a lovely, lovely day.
Adv F Mahere
November 2016 Arrest
Mahere was arrested in November 2016 for protesting against the impending introduction of Bond Notes. Mahere was protesting with a small group of people in Africa Unity Square when anti-riot police descended on them, arresting them. Politician, Acie Lumumba was part of the group but was not arrested along with the group. The charges against the group were all dropped in December 2016. The court ruled that the arrest was illegal as there was no reasonable suspicion of a crime taking place.
In an effort to get the youth more involved and to understand politicians Fadzayi, started interviewing politicians on #ThisFlag Thursdays.
Running for Member of Parliament
On 28 June 2017, Fadzayi Mahere announced that she was entering politics and that she was going to run for Member of Parliament of her home area of Mount Pleasant area. She announced that she was going to be running as an independent. As part of her launch speech, she said:
We have tried to encourage accountability and transparency but have been met with resistance, half-truths and most ironically silence. Our government is asleep and our parliament is largely incapable of representing the best interests of the citizens. There are reports of parliamentarians who spend an entire year without speaking. How can you represent the concerns of citizens if you never stand up to be counted? We have watched dubious legislation pass through parliament with very little opposition and even less civil engagement. When was the last time our members of parliament came into the community to discuss issues or deliberate proposed
To download her manifesto in English please click here:
- Fadzayi Mahere, LinkedIn, published: No Date Given, retrieved: July 28, 2016
- On being a woman advocate in Harare, Financial Gazette, published: July 31, 2014, retrieved: July 28, 2016
- Fadzayi Mahere, Facebook Post, Facebook, Published on: 10 Aug 2015, Retreived: 13 Oct 2016
- Advocate Fadzayi Mahere arrested for demonstrating, Pindula News, Published:18 Nov 2016, Retrieved: 18 Nov 2016
- "2016 - the year I became a first accused". Facebook. December 13, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2017.