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.



National Coordinator 

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.


Programs and M,E & L Manager 

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.

Ms Minza Fimbo


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.

Adv. Joyce Eliezer

Program Officer – Members Affairs


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.

Adv. Leopold Mosha

Program Officer –Protection engagement, Research and Advocacy


Leopold Cornelius Mosha is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. He is a holder of a Degree of Laws from the University of Dodoma with good academic and practical record in the field of Human Rights, Commercial and International Laws. 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 Organisations which is awarded by Protection International.

For the past five years Leopold has been working in the field of Human Rights, Legal Aid and Advocacy under three major institutions. In 2014 to early 2016 he worked as a Legal Officer at the National Attorneys which was then emerging as a and in 2016 to March 2017 he worked as a volunteer at the Legal and Human Rights Centre in its sub office in Arusha. Through his involvement in the first two institutions he successfully provided legal aid to a number of individuals, including issues pertaining to Labour, Land Laws and Commercial Laws.  Currently Leopold is working as an Advocacy Officer at the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) where he has been working since early April 2017.

Currently, in his stay at the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, for more than two years Leopold has become 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. In 2017 as part of protecting freedom of assembly and association, Leopold was one of key technical staff from eight NGOs (Coordinating Team) who participated fully in the observation of the Process of Verification of NGOs in Tanzania. This was a process which threatened the deregistration of a number of NGOs following a call from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children requiring all NGOs in the country to be verified. Other

Leopold is also a researcher on issues pertaining to Civic Space and Civil Societies. As a researcher and writer, Leopold has taken part in conducting several researches where by many publications have been issued on matters of civic space in Tanzania under the coordination of 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.

Ms. Melba Sandi

Administrator and Logistics Officer


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.

MR. Richard Chaula

Assistant Accountant

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( 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.

Mr Deogratius Chambi

Associate Protection Officer Digital Protection


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

Mr  James Kerario Laurent

Associate Protection Officer Research and Documentation


James Kerario Laurent is THRDC’s Resource Centre Officer and a certified Digital Security & Physical Security Management Trainer for Human Rights Defenders. Before joining the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) in 2017, James worked with the Arusha-based Community Research & Development Services (CORDS) as an Administrative Intern (2014/15) and Field Research Intern (2013). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (BBA) from the College of Business Administration (2016) and a Diploma in Security and Protection Management for Civil Organizations and Human Rights Defenders from Protection International (2017). He is also currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Monitoring and Evaluation.
As the Coalition’s Resource Centre Officer, he manages the Resource Centre sub-department and oversees the Documentation, Design, Printing, Publishing and Dissemination of THRDC’s internal publications but also the collection and storage of THRDC members’ and other external human rights-themed publications at the Resource Centre’s Library.

Also, at a local level, being a Trainer of Digital & Physical Security Management to Human Rights defenders over the past 2 years, James finds great pride in creating awareness among fellow HRDs, Human Rights Organizations and Youth in his community on Digital and Physical Security challenges and appropriate Safety measures. At a regional level, James works with fellow HRDs from a number of NGOs in the East & Horn of Africa sub-region; Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.

James Laurent advocates for Internet Freedom in Africa. On 27th September 2018 at the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa, co-hosted by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and the Media Foundation for West Africa in Accra – Ghana, he was one of the four panelists in a panel discussion session on ‘Securing At-Risk Online Users: Experience from the Frontlines’. A session that highlighted common security trends, online risky behaviours by African internet users and the rise of repressive internet policies and regulations in Africa that are infringing on the right to online freedom of expression.

Apart from his extensive knowledge in Advocacy & Campaigning, Human Rights Monitoring, Human Rights Documentation and Research, James is also a skilled Facilitator, Copywriter, Photographer and Videomaker.

Ms. Lisa Filbert Kagaruki

Associate Protection Officer Government and International Engagements


Lisa Filbert Kagaruki is THRDC’s Advocacy Volunteering Officer and Information Officer (Watetezi TV). Before joining the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) in 2018, Lisa worked with Shinrai Group of Companies based in Kampala – Uganda as an Accountant (2016/8). She also Volunteered for an Accounting department at The Pastoralist Indigenous Non Governmental Organization Forum (2014).

Lisa Kagaruki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Banking (BFB) from the Institute of Accountancy Arusha – 2016 (IAA) and a Certificate in Proffessional Banking Level 1 Complete (2017).
As the Coalition’s Information Centre Volunteering Officer, she manages the Watetezi TV sub-department and oversees the Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Websites etc) in a manner of updating the public on the activities and whereabouts of the Human Right Defenders. Lisa is responsible for capturing news, flashes and updates about THRDC and it’s members with the aim of airing out to the public, stakeholders and members too.
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 the East Africa; Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.
Lisa Kagaruki desires to advocate for Gender and Child Right in Africa
During the 26th-29th November 2018 Lisa was invited to attend 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 on women to Leadership, Peace and Security, trade and extraction and gender based violence.
Apart from her extensive knowledge in Advocacy & Information sharing, Lisa is also a skilled Photographer, Reporter and Video maker.

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

Associate Protection Officer Emergency Support and Rescue


Mr. Paul Kisabo is a volunteer at the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition Members’ Affairs Desk since 23rd April 2019. He is a thriving Human Rights Lawyer having graduated Degree of Bachelor of Laws with Honors from the University of Dar es Salaam in November 2018. Also, he has a Certificate of Success on General Course on Intellectual Property from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a Certificate of success on Internet Freedom Advocacy and Digital Security in Tanzania, 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.

Prior to joining the Coalition, Kisabo worked as an intern at Africa Law Practice Tanzania from 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 was the member of the Electoral Appellate Board of Dar es Salaam University Students Organization (DARUSO), Serving as the Legal Officer of the Appellate Board 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.

Mr. Kisabo has a vast experience in defending students’ rights in Tanzania while serving as the Director of Legal Department, Tanzania Students’ Networking Programme (TSNP), since the year 2018.

Mr. Kisabo is highly experienced in leadership and Moot Court issues, he has been the Moot Court Chairperson at the University of Dar es Salaam School of Law 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. The duties performed were training and coaching students, coordinating interclass, 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 2016, which is based on 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 was the Supervisor Number one (1) at Kapanga Primary School polling station in Tanganyika District, Katavi Region during the 2015 Tanzania General Election. The duties performed were approving the candidate voters in the permanent register of voters, instructing candidate voters to sign in a permanent register of voters and cooperating with electoral officers.

Mr. Kisabo is a nimble person and a meticulous Human Rights Defender. He believes that the will to do the heart to win. His vision is to become a Human Rights Advocate since defending human rights has always been his innermost passion.

Adv. Catherine Ringo

Associate Protection Officer Prevention and Risk Assessment


CATHERINE RINGO is a dedicated and devoted Human rights lawyer, a holder of bachelor degree of LAW and PGDL, Advocate of the high court; she tirelessly provides legal aid, education and skills on economic empowerment and support to the vulnerable population in Tanzania. While working with Action for Justice Tanzania In 2016 she advocated for women and children’s rights and awareness rising against gender based violence, also provided legal education to paralegals. In 2017 worked with Locus Attorneys, a corporate firm as a legal officer. In 2018 worked with Asylum access Refugee Solution as a volunteer legal advocate and personal assistant to the in-house counselor. In July 2018 to January 2019 worked at Dignity Kwanza Community Solutions as an associate program officer-legal, economic empowerment and grants.  She is also competent in alternative dispute resolution and child protection management.

Currently she works at Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition as an assistant Protection Officer where she takes different roles in providing legal support to Human Rights Defenders, provide immediate protection support to human rights defenders at risk through the emergency response system, train human rights defenders on the issues of Rights, security and protection, also documentation of human rights situations and violations and other fact finding Missions.

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.