Mutuso Dhliwayo

Mutuso Dhliwayo is a lawyer, Executive Director and a founder member of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA). He completed a Leadership Transition Fellowship Programme at the University of Indiana’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, United States of America supported by the Ford Foundation.


He holds a dual masters in Constitutional and Human Rights Law (LLM) from Midlands State University, Zimbabwe and a Masters in Environment and Development from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws Honors degree (LLBS) Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He is registered with the High Court of Zimbabwe as a legal practitioner, notary public and conveyancer. He has research and advocacy interests in business and human rights, transboundary natural resources management, wildlife and the extractive sector.[1]


He sits in boards that include the African Coalition on Corporate Accountability, Global Greengrants Fund for Southern Africa, Business and Human Rights Resources Center, National Association on Non-Governmental Organisations, the Publish What You Pay Africa Steering Committee, Women University in Africa and Tax Justice Network Africa. He is a member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) and Association for Research on Non Profit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

He previously served as Legal Officer at Environment Africa, one of Zimbabwe’s leading environmental organizations. He has a passion for the management of shared resources and heads ZELA’s Trans-Boundary Natural Resources Management (TBNRM) program. His other research interests include Communities and Markets, protecting Africa’s urban environments, human rights and democracy, trade aspects of intellectual property rights, and issues related to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Additionally, Mutuso was the Zimbabwean Principal Investigator on a study undertaken in conjunction with the World Resources Institute examining legislative representation and the environment in ten African countries.[2]

Enforcement of Environmental Rights

Environmental lobby groups have accused the judiciary and law enforcement agents of having a low appreciation of environmental human rights violations, hence delays in prosecuting related matters. Mutuso Dhliwayo, director for the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), said there was need for capacity building of the judiciary and law enforcement agents to enable them to investigate and adjudicate environmental human rights abuses caused by business and mining companies during their operations. Dhliwayo said this during a capacity building workshop in Harare for Parliamentarians and other stakeholders on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Dhliwayo said human rights violations by businesses included pollution of water sources, land degradation, deforestation, dumping of toxic waste, non-provision of protective clothing and others.[3]


  1. [1], Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  2. [2], Global Greengrants Fund, Published: 25 February, 2009, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  3. [3], Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published: 13 September, 2020, Accessed: 15 September, 2020