Tatenda Mombeyarara

Tatenda Mombeyarara is a Human Rights Defender (HRD) and civic activist. He is a member of Citizens Manifesto and specialises in the area of citizen participation.[1]


Mombeyarara, a university graduate and Information Officer with the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) has been active in demanding better working conditions for Zimbabweans. During events like May Day and World Teachers Day, Mombeyarara has been instrumental in mobilizing and addressing workers. Besides labor activism, Mombeyarara is involved in human rights work and has been involved in campaigning for the scrapping of pre-paid water meters in the capital, Harare.[2]

In 2011, Mombeyarara together with prominent labor lawyer Munyaradzi Gwisai and six other activists endured some six months at Harare remand prison following trumped-up treason charges . This was after they were found watching a video of the 2011 Arab spring revolution which toppled Maghreb strong men Muamer Gaddafi of Libya, Mohamed Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.


In May 2019, four pro-democracy campaigners, George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura and Nyasha Mpahlo, were arrested at Harare International Airport. They were accused of plotting to subvert President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, and were denied bail when they appeared before magistrate Hosea Mujaya, where they were charged with subversion. They were represented by Jeremiah Bamu.

The State alleges that on 13 May 2019, the suspects, who are all members of various civic society organisations, allegedly connived with their accomplices, (who are still at large) and travelled to Maldives where the four participated in a meeting. They underwent a training workshop organised by a Serbian non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Centre for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) aimed at subverting a constitutionally elected government. During the workshop, the accused were trained on how to mobilise citizens to turn against the government and to engage in acts of civil disobedience and or resistance to any law during the anticipated national protest by anti-government movements, read part of the State’s papers. The accused were also trained on how to operate small arms and to evade arrest during civil unrest. The State also alleges that the quartet was taught basics of counter intelligence and acts of terrorism. Upon arrival and arrest at the airport, their laptops, cellphones and notes from the workshop, that contained the alleged subversive materials, were seized by the State. [3]

In June, the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) protested and released a statement with more details. All those arrested for subversion include George Makoni, Nyasha Frank Mpahlo, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura, Farirai Gumbonzvanda, Stabile Dewa, and Rita Nyampinga, seven (7) Zimbabwean civil society activists on their way home from attending a training workshop organized by CANVAS in the Maldives from May 15 to 19, 2019. The detainees have been denied bail so far with six remanded in prison and the seventh, Gamuchirai Mukura, remanded in a public hospital. The charges include: “subversion”, “counterintelligence”, and “being trained in use of small arms”. The activists could face up to twenty years in prison for these charges. The workshop focused on advocacy and civic engagement capacity building such as: Developing Shared Vision of Tomorrow; Civic Engagement; Effective Communications; Protecting Privacy and Security; and Organizational Planning. [4]



  1. [1], Front Line Defenders, Accessed: 6 September, 2020
  2. [2], Giraffe Heroes Project, Accessed: 6 September, 2020
  3. 4 rights activists denied bail, Newsday, Published: 23 May 2019, Retrieved: 24 March 2020
  4. [Link_Here “Nonviolence is a basic human right” CANVAS], Newsday, Published: 6 June 2019, Retrieved: 24 March 2020