THRDC Secretariat

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, a Masters student of Research and Public Policy at the University of Dar es Salaam. He was born in Loliondo-Ngorongoro in 1980. He did my LLB at the University of Dar es Salaam and graduated with honours in 2009. He holds a diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organizations offered by Protection International. He has Also Acquired a Certificate In Security Management and Risk Assessment at the York University. In addition, Onesmo has been also mentored by renown and well experienced Organization Development Expert (OD) for one year (2013). He has attended and presented papers in various international, regional and national human rights meetings and forums.

His professional interests and expertise which is evident through theoretical and practical experiences are based 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 and its 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 the 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 my 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 working experience has travelled to all 28 regions in the county and conducted surveys and research in human rights

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.

MR.Deogratias Bwire

Capacity Building Officer

Deogratias Bwire is a practising advocate, holding Master of laws in Human Rights and Comparative Constitutional Law from Central European University (Budapest).

As the Capacity building and empowerment officer, he is involved in assessing capacity needs among target groups, developed capacity building plans, budgets, Monitoring and Evaluation plans and interventions strategies on security management based on the needs of the target groups, trained CSOs/HRDs and other target groups on various aspects of security and risk management, human rights and their enforcement mechanisms and report preparation.

As part of his skills to develop advocacy initiatives, he also heads the UPR desk and coordinates the newly established CSOs Anti-torture Network of about 40 CSOs aiming at increasing Knowledge and Awareness of the occurrence of torture and Ill-treatment in Tanzania.

Deogratias has several times been invited present before freedom of expression and Online freedom stakeholders on various laws affecting free expression and internet rights in Tanzania mainly the cybercrimes Act, the Media Services Act, the Access to information and the 2018 Online Content Regulations. He has also got opportunities to attend various regional and global forums on online freedom such as the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica).

Mr Jones Sendodo

Protection Officer

Jones Sendodo is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and subordinate courts thereto save for the primary court. Jones is a legal and protection officer of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC).

He heads the Protection desk which responds to emergency issues facing human rights defenders at risk. He is a holder of Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Dar es Salaam and a post-graduate diploma in legal practice from the Law School of Tanzania.

Ms Minza Fimbo


MR. Richard Chaula

Assistant Accountant


Richard Chaula was born on 30th October 1987 in Njombe. He is an Accountant by profession and an accountant for Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC).

Education background

He attended Ruhuji primary school in Njombe and then he joined Kidugala Lutheran Seminary for Ordinary level ‘O level’ studies. He joined again Mbalizi High Secondary School for Advance Level ‘A level’ studies.

In 2010 he joined University of Dar es salaam for Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting (BCOM in Accounting). He studied for three years.

Employment Career

In 2015 he joined Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation Limited ‘TTCL’ before change of its name to Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation ‘TTC’ owned 100% by the Government of United Republic of Tanzania (URT).

He worked as an Accountant for almost three years with TTC and then in 2018 he decided to quit the job and join Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC).

Ms. Melba Sandi


Melba Sandi is a self-driven young lady; she joined Tanzania Human Rights Defenders as an Administrator in 2015. Melba has worked with different organisations as a Public Relations Assistant and administration. She is passionate about writing and supporting equality and human rights to those that are deprived of it.

Melba has a Bachelor in Public Relations and Advertising pursued at The University of Dar es Salaam. She also has a diploma in Security and Protection Management for Human Rights Defenders and Social Organisations pursued at Protection International.

Mr Leopord Mosha

Advocacy Officer

Mr Deogratius Chambi

Digital Security Officer


Resources Center Officer

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.

Lisa Filbert Kagaruki

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 Devotha Sanga