The Secretariat of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) is headed by the National Coordinator of the Coalition who is supported by the Programme Monitoring & Evaluation Managers, the Head of the Finance, Administration and support staff. THRDC’s secretariat is currently implementing its new five-year Strategic Plan (2018-2022) through its 5 departments: MEMBERSHIP AFFAIRS, ADVOCACY, CAPACITY BUILDING, PROTECTION OF HRDs and INSTITUTIONAL BUILDING.
Onesmo Paul Olengurumwa was born in Loliondo-Ngorongoro in 1980. He is the national coordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition. He holds a Masters degree in Research and Public Policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Llb from the University of Dar es Salaam where he graduated with honours. He also holds a diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations offered by Protection International as well as a Certificate In Security Management and Risk Assessment acquired at the York University. In addition, Onesmo has been mentored by the renown and well experienced Organization Development Expert (OD) for one year (2013). Over the years he has attended and presented papers in various international, regional and national human rights meetings and forums.
His professional interests and expertise evident through theoretical and practical experiences base on the areas of human rights, international human rights law, research, social justice, good governance, policy and African Pastoralism.
Onesmo served as a President of the UDSM Human Rights Association (2008-9). The association was vibrant and vocal where his duties were to organize conferences, seminars and workshops on issues regarding Rwanda genocide; albino killings, Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the campaign against the Death Penalty among other things. He also coordinated public lectures, seminars, researches, and workshops to highlight legal issues and enable students and members of the community from the UDSM Law Society, where he served as the secretary to actively contribute in raising awareness and engage on a variety of audiences.
Based on his hardworking spirit and experience of working in the Human Rights field, immediately after his first degree, he joined the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), one of the reputable human rights bodies in Tanzania to work as a researcher and writer of the Tanzania human rights reports from 2009-2012. The treasured three years spent with LHRC transformed him professionally whereby he embarked into yet another journey to fulfil his passion. He has written widely and his works have been used as a source of reference in many publications and other research works. Onesmo has vast experience working with and for communities in a multicultural Tanzania, within 8 years of his working experience he has travelled to all 28 regions in the county and conducted surveys and research in human rights.
Over the years he has vastly and assiduously participated in various United Nations Forums and activities by submitting Reports and attending conferences, including those affiliated with the Office of the Unted Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through its Office of the High Commissioner responsible for the Horn of Africa and Eatern Africa and Eastern Africa based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; UN Special on Freedom of Opinion and Expression both under Mr Maina Kiai and Mr Clement Vule; and most recently the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mr Michel Forst, conference held in Nairobi in March, 2019. In addition, he has sent extensive reports to various UN Treaty Bodies as well as shadow reports to support democracyand promote government accountability in human rights to the UN Shadow Bodies.
Thus, he co-founded the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition and beginning January 1st, 2013 he became the First National Coordinator/CEO) of the same Coalition which has more than 115 members most of them being Human Rights Organizations. Here he strives to create a secure environment for all HRDs in Tanzania and has overall responsibility for strategic direction, a positioning of the Coalition in the human rights defence field, and the efficient functioning of the Coalition- focusing on the goals of the Five Year Strategic Plan for 2013-2017.
Remmy Lema is a Tanzanian man, born in 1984 in Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region. Mr Lema is a Master’s degree holder of Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Bachelor degree of Science in Wildlife Management from the Sokoine University of Agriculture. He has demonstrated practical experience in working with different donor-funded projects and perform multiple roles which include fundraising, formulating and operating M&E systems, and coordinating project activities. Through on job training and working experiences, Mr Lema managed to acquire extensive knowledge and skills in Project Cycle Management (PCM) including, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), and being able to provide technical and project management support to implementing team to ensure quality and timely delivery of the intended project results.
Remmy Lema has facilitation skill and demonstrated the ability to build capacity to project team in the development and making use of monitoring and data collection tools, for a smooth understanding of project performance, observation of changes, regular on-going assessment and routine reflection, feedbacking and lessons sharing. He also has proven expertise and practical experience in results-based performance management and reporting.
From August 2018 Mr Lema has been working as a Programs M&E Manager under the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition. Past, Mr Lema worked as a Senior Program Officer under the Lawyers Environmental Action Team in a USAID funded project aiming at increasing Citizens Participation in Government Oversight in Natural Resources Management (CEGO-NRM) being implemented in Iringa and Mufindi Districts in Iringa Region. Furthermore, under my supervision CEGO project produced information, education and communication materials (IEC) to share the project learning and achievements to the various project stakeholders. Also, Mr Lema successfully coordinated the end term CEGO project evaluation. Under LEAT also Mr Lema designed the implementation modality for the Shared Resources Joint Solution Initiative (SRJS) which is currently being implemented in Rukwa and Katavi Regions. Under this initiative, I conducted stakeholder analysis which came out with various players operating within the landscape including those who are operating within the SAGCOT (Ihemi) clusters. Also, I conducted the policy context analysis for the investors within the landscape including miners, farmers, pastoralists to observe the environmental needs compliance as per the rules and regulation which is under the initiative strategic objective two of responsible investments.
Past, Mr Lema worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer under WWF-Tanzania freshwater program (Great Ruaha River Water Program) in Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya Regions program aiming at ensuring the perennial flow of the Great Ruaha River. During this tenure as one of my roles, I participated in the stakeholder’s identification and mapping within the program landscape to understand their interest, influence and impacts they have on the water resources management within the area of interest. Also, Mr Lema facilitated the smooth engagement of the identified stakeholders including thorough follow up of the environmental compliance needs to the stakeholders, as a way of ensuring the compliance Mr Lema designed an investor’s commitment and action monitoring tool which was used to spearhead the follow-up process. Also, Mr Lema worked with Tanzania Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA) as a southern highlands zonal coordinator (Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya) under the forest justice project.
For the past six years, Mr Lema did an extensive job in project management, information gathering, documenting, analyzing, report writing and therefore being able to demonstrate hands-on experience with planning of the project activities and its implementation, dealing with quantitative and qualitative data, conducting M&E though making use of participatory methodologies, report writing and sharing of the lessons learnt.
Minza Fimbo is a Tanzania Human Rights Defender’s Senior Accountant with over five years Working experience with reputable Institutions. She completed her bachelor degree at the University of Dar es Salaam, Business School in 2011 and holds a honors degree in Accounting.
Minza is a member of the National Board of Auditors and Accountancy (NBAA) and she is currently pursuing an intermediate stage of Accountancy professional exams hosted by NBAA.
Minza has so far attended different trainings and workshop concerning Financial Management and Human Rights including; Security management training for HRDs hosted by the Coalition and partner’s organizations; The financial management training hosted by the East and Horn of Africa; Management accounting for NGO ( MANGO) Training hosted by OSIEA In Nairobi. All these have cultivated the improvement of her performance at the Coalition.
Her experience in the Human Rights Field started when she became a member of the Human Rights Association at the University of Dare s Salaam through which she attended various seminars which gradually ignited her interest of working in the human rights field especially with NGOs.
Ester is an experienced accountant and financial officer with more than five years of progressive career in finance, accounting, and operations management. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a registered member of the National Board of Accountants and Auditors of Tanzania (NBAA).
She currently works as an Accountant/Fundraising Officer and Head of Institutional Building and Sustainability at THRDC. Her areas of expertise include financial management, business planning, compliances, budgeting monitoring, fundraising/resource mobilization, human resources, and administration.
She brings in-depth knowledge and skills to the table in conceptualizing and implementing financial policies and procedures, including internal financial controls, financial compliances, and costing; leadership and direction in continuously sustainably improving organization performance; and resolution of multiple & complex issues affecting the organization performance.
She believes in putting her team first and celebrating their accomplishments, which aligns with THRDC’s goals of creating positive impacts on individuals, society, and the community. She is passionate about supporting orphanages and programmes that help children and people with disabilities outside of the office.
Joyce Eliezer is a lawyer and THRDC’s Membership Affairs Officer. Before joining the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) in 2017, Joyce worked with Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) as a Legal Aid Officer (2014/15) Field Research Intern (2013). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) from St .Augustine University of Tanzania .She also has a diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations pursued at Protection International. (2017).she is currently pursuing her post graduate in diploma and Legal Practice at Law School of Tanzania (LST).
As the Coalition’s Officer, She manages to develop membership policy, to maintaining close communication with members and sharing opportunities across the world that would benefit the members in encouraging their efforts on defending human rights and to provide forums for the profession, Networking and Mentoring for members.
Also, being a legal aid provider to women and children over the past 2 years, Joyce finds great honour in creating awareness among women, Human Rights Organizations and Youth in her community on Reproductive Health to women and girls in Tanzania. She is engaged in community conversation activity to share knowledge with the community specifically to women and child on the right to own land, right to participate in decision making.
Leopold Cornelius Mosha is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. He is a holder of a Degree of Laws (LLB) from the University of Dodoma with a good academic and practical record in the field of Human Rights. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law School of Tanzania and a Diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations awarded by Protection International.
For the past seven years, Leopold has been working in the field of Human Rights, Legal Aid, Advocacy and Capacity Building to Civil Society Organizations/Human Rights Defenders. He is a strong advocate of the freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and the right to information, including internet freedoms. Due to his expertise in Laws and Human Rights he has been coordinating a number of campaigns through traditional and online media.
He is also a researcher, writer and experienced consultant on issues pertaining to Civic Space and Civil Societies. As a researcher and writer, Leopold has taken part in conducting several types of research whereby many publications have been issued on matters of civic space in Tanzania under the coordination of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition. Due to his skills in research, publication and presentation, he has been providing consultative services to the CSOs Sector in Tanzania on matters of Civic Space and Human Rights.
Perpetua Senkoro, THRDC Protection Officer: Protection, planning, and risk management has over five years experience working in human rights advocacy particularly in the disability rights field.
Before joining THRDC in August 2021, Perpetua was a human rights officer for the NGO Under the Same Sun (UTSS) where she did advocacy for rights and welfare of people with albinism in Africa. This was through direct and indirect engagement with local actors including government officials, parliamentarians, civil society, academicians, mass media, faith leaders, and the general public. She was also engaging with international human rights mechanisms of the African Union and United Nations, as well as diplomats and development partners.
Perpetua also managed a project for two years, which was geared on creating public awareness on albinism in Tanzania and lobbying for policy reforms for promoting inclusion of persons with albinism in Tanzania. Moreover, she is also part of a research team for the ongoing project “Mothering and Albinism, Mapping patterns of resilience at the juncture of gender, colourism, religion, and human rights in Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa”. This is led by experts from the Trinity Western University, Canada.
In addition, After UTSS, Perpetua did regional coordination on human rights and advocacy for the newly formed Africa Albinism Alliance, and then joined THRDC shortly after.
Perpetua has a master of law (LL.M) from McGill University in Canada, and a bachelor of laws (LL.B Hons) from the University of Dar-es-salaam.
Melba Sandi is the Administration Officer of Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC).Before joining Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), she worked as an Assistant Project manager at East African Unique Company Limited (2014-2015) where she maintained and appraised business relationships with various customers and assisted the project manager in all program activities (report writing, memos, invitations, follow up).
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Advertising attained at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and is currently acquiring her Masters in International Trade at the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM).
As an Administration Officer, Melba has strong planning and administrative skills, developed through varied NGO, private and public-sector experience. Her practical knowledge and background in coordinating high quality service delivery, logistics, office management and communications are assets that bring value-additions to the organisation. Her combination of experience and passion for development combine superbly in her role.
At the Coalition, she maintains all office records management and office administration logistics, she also does formal correspondence and communications with Board members, external partners, stakeholders and development partners.
Richard Chaula is an Assistant Accountant of Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC). Before joining Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), he worked as an Accountant with Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) from 2015 to 2018.
He holds a bachelor’s degree of Commerce in Accounting(B.com in Accounting) attained from University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM) and he is possessing a Professional certificate (Certified Public Accountant (CPA(T)) issued by National Board of Accountant and Auditors (NBAA).
As an Accountant with Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL), Richard has managed to comply with International Accounting Standards (IAS) and other financial reporting standards of which with other team work facilitated the company to receive Unqualified Audit Report for the consecutive two years of his presence and an award from National Board of Accountant and Auditors (NBAA) as the Best Financial Statements presentation.
He has knowledge of Financial, Accounting, Auditing and Reporting on Telecommunication industries and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s).
At the Coalition under finance department as an Assistant Accountant, he manages to control all day to day cash inflow and outflow of the organization or all matters relating to finances.
Deogratius Chambi is IT and Digital security Officer of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC). He is the holder of Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from the Institute of Finance Management (IFM). Chambi is a highly competent IT professional with a proven track record in Designing Websites, artistic and ambitious Graphics Designer with a talent for thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative ideas and designs.
He prides himself in providing excellent service to the organisation and seeing the positive impact he makes in people’s lives and businesses
Ms Lisa Filbert Kagaruki is THRDC’s Head of Members Affairs and Protection Officer (Research and Documentation). Ms Lisa started working with the Coalition in the year 2018 where she highly contributed to the solid growth of Watetezi TV Online channel.
Professionally, Ms Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Banking (BFB) from the Institute of Accountancy Arusha – 2016 (IAA) and a Certificate in Professional Banking Level 1 Complete (2017). Lisa also holds a Diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations offered by Protection International in 2019 and has been able to take part in several professional training courses including A course on Inequality in Southern Africa.
As the Coalition’s Head of Department and Protection Officer, she manages to oversee the members desk by ensuring a good linkage between members and the Coalition and encouraging them in their works of defending human rights. Lisa also does several kinds of research under the coordination of THRDC and develops publications that increase awareness to the Coalition’s members and the public in general on several matters of human rights in Tanzania.
Lisa finds great pride in creating awareness among fellow HRDs, Human Rights Organizations and Youth in his community on child and gender rights. She works with fellow HRDs from a number of HRNGOs in East Africa; Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.
Lisa Kagaruki desires to advocate for Gender and Child Rights in Africa
During the 26th-29th November 2018, Lisa attended Zinduka Academy and Zinduka Festival 2018 that was hosted in Nairobi-Kenya. It carried the main theme of “Building A Vibrant East African Women’s Movement” which showed us the current contribution of women to Leadership, Peace and Security, trade and extraction and gender-based violence. Since then, Defending Human Rights has never been a crime for her.
Apart from her extensive knowledge in Communication, Advocacy, Research & Information sharing, Lisa is also a skilled Physical security trainer, Photographer, Reporter and Videomaker.
Ms Loveness Muhagazi
Media and Information Officer (Volunteer)
Loveness Joseph Muhagazi is a Tanzanian professional journalist working under THRDC as Head of Watetezi online TV. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Mass Communication from St. Augustine University of Tanzania – SAUT (2015-2018). Loveness has more than 3 years of professional work experience in journalism, having worked as a News Programs producer, Documentaries producer and Sports News reporter and produce. Also, she has worked as a News Anchor, News Editor and Script writer for SAUT FM (2015-2017), JEMBE FM (2017-2018), Flash Online Radio (2017-2018), BBC (2018) and Inter News (2018). From January 2019 to date, she has been working with THRDC as Head of Watetezi TV.
As Head of Watetezi TV she assumes various roles including, managing social media platforms, covers daily human rights news, records and edits audio-visual content. Furthermore, she produces human rights documentaries and audio narrations, writes Watetezi TV’s monthly reports, plans Watetezi TV’s activities and evaluates its performance.
In the year 2018, Loveness participated in two major human rights news projects; the ‘NIAMBIE’ project by BBC aimed at informing Tanzanian youths about their rights, responsibilities and potentials in the community. This project was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation together with the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Her second major project was the ‘BORESHA HABARI’ project during her time at Inter News as a Documentaries producer. The ‘BORESHA HABARI’ project is aimed at strengthening the ability of Tanzanian media and CSOs to effectively use the media to promote Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, funded by USAID and FHI 360.
Loveness is a certified member of the Internet Society – Tanzanian Chapter. Apart from her career in journalism, she is also a Media projects writer, skilled actress, film director and passionate public speaker. In her spare time, she works as a part-time Mistress of Ceremony (MC).
Mr. Paul Kisabo is a Program Officer: Litigation, Emergency Support and Rescue (LESR) at the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition since 3rd May 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) (Hons) of the University of Dar es Salaam and currently pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Law school of Tanzania. He also holds a Diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations offered by Protection International, Brussels. He is an awardee of certificates on Distance Learning-General Course on Intellectual Property by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Internet Freedom, Advocacy and Digital Security in Tanzania and a Certificate of valuable contribution on Legal Research for projects with the new market Lab while serving as a member of the University of Dar es Salaam Law Society.
Before becoming the Program Officer, Kisabo worked as a volunteer Members Affairs Desk (23rd April to January 2020), Associate Protection Officer Emergency Support and Rescue (February 2020 – 2nd May 2021). Further, before joining the Coalition, Kisabo worked as an intern at Africa Law Practice Tanzania from 1st August 2018 to 15th April 2019 where his tremendous working spirit was highly appreciated specifically in giving legal counsel to clients, conducting legal research, preparing legal documents and managing resources.
Mr. Kisabo has a massive experience on legal matters as during his undergraduate studies in 2018 served as the member and legal officer of the Electoral Appellate Board of Dar es Salaam University Students Organization (DARUSO), where he was responsible for issuing accurate and timely legal counsel, hearing and processing election petitions and writing judgments. He was also an active member of the University of Dar es Salaam Human Rights Association (2014-2018).
Mr. Kisabo has vast experience in defending students’ rights in Tanzania while serving as the Director of Legal Department, Tanzania Students’ Networking Programme (TSNP) 2018 – 2019
Mr. Kisabo is highly experienced in leadership and Moot Court issues; he served a two years’ term chairing the University of Dar es Salaam Law Society Moot Court (2016-2018) whereby he was responsible for coaching and coordinating national, regional and international moot court competitions.
Mr. Kisabo participated in high profile moot court competitions; the 25th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2016, which is based on the African Human Right system, the International Criminal Court Moot Court, held in The Hague, the Netherlands in 2018, the 15th Elsa Moot Court Competition on World Trade Organization Law Regional Round held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa in 2017, the 6th National Moot Court Competition on International Humanitarian Law, held in Dar es Salaam in 2018 and he was the Team Captain at the 2017 Africa Regional 3rd Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot, University of Dar es Salaam team, held at Africa Nazarene University, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Moreover, Mr. Kisabo supervised the 2015 Tanzania General Election as Supervisor Number one at Kapanga Primary School polling station in Tanganyika District, Katavi Region.
Mr. Kisabo is a nimble person and a meticulous Human Rights Defender. He believes that “the will to do the heart to win”.
Ms Hilder Ngatunga
Media and Information Officer (Volunteer)
Ms Hilder Ngatunga is a professional Journalist, who holds Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) and attended a Radio Production Training by Internews in September, 2018. She is fluent in Swahili and English.
Ms Hilder is intrigued by human rights and covering stories about Human rights issues and stories that give voice to the voiceless. She is competent, Knowledgeable, capable and interested in Broadcasting, news writing, Television and Radio productions. Also, has an even wider experience in script writing, Radio and TV productions, as well as documentaries production.
Currently Hilder Ngatunga is working with Watetezi TV as a Volunteer which is under THRDC as a Camera operator, Producer and Reporter.