Emmaculeta Chiseya of Zimbabwe
|"Darkest Before Dawn"
By Peace Writer Lucia Gbaya-Kanga
|"Reversing the Ripples of War"
Produced by Sun & Moon Vision Productions
Emmaculeta Chiseya, a mother of two from Harare, Zimbabwe has worked to gender-sensitize community development and promote human rights for over 15 years. From 1996 to 2000, Chiseya was responsible for the promotion, protection and defense of human rights under the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association. During an increasingly dangerous period of Zimbabwean history, she has helped pioneer human rights education and civic education curricula in schools throughout the country. As a project officer for the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Chiseya advocates for democracy and electoral education and serves as an election monitor.
In 2007, ZESN intensified its efforts for democracy through electoral education, election monitoring and observation, research, advocacy and information dissemination. Chiseya is focusing on educating the Zimbabwean citizenry on the principles and responsibilities of democracy through workshops and community training. She is also carrying out trainings-for-trainers to expand the base of qualified democracy education trainers. To date, she has trained 240 people who are carrying out workshops in 120 constituencies throughout the country. Chiseya has produced democracy education publications and is utilizing radio programs tailored to youth and marginalized communities to facilitate their participation in political processes. She is involved in a nationwide campaign to emphasize active citizen participation in view of the forthcoming 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, encouraging political tolerance during campaigns while seeking greater voter registration.
Chiseya has experience educating police and other security forces to desist from torture practices, and has used theater to encourage greater understanding of human rights. In the current dangerous climate in Zimbabwe, with exorbitant inflation and unemployment rates and a nonexistent health care system, the rights which the constitution grants are challenged; politically motivated violence confronts the citizens who are seeking a return to peace. With the impending 2008 elections, human rights activists and peacemakers must maneuver carefully simply to assemble. Torture practices by police are on the rise. Chiseya is working to help people negotiate these pitfalls in order to move democratic change and human rights forward. She believes in the right of the people to elect a government of their choice without fear.
Chiseya was a Woman PeaceMaker in 2005.