Who is Beatrice Mtetwa?
Beatrice Mtetwa grew up on a farm in Swaziland without electricity or running water. Her father had six wives; she is the eldest daughter of 50 children. After graduating from university in Scotland, Beatrice attended law school at the University of Botswana. She moved to Zimbabwe shortly after it gained independence in the mid-1980’s.
Beatrice’s first job was prosecuting cases for the new government of Robert Mugabe. Within a matter of years, however, she left her job disillusioned with the “selective justice” involving many of the cases. Beatrice opened her own law firm representing defendants victimized by the repressive government.
Beatrice Mtetwa is the recipient of several international awards including: the Inamori Prize for Ethics, the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Human Rights Award from the American Bar Association Section of Litigation; Beatrice Mtetwa is the only African besides Nelson Mandela to receive the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize from France.
“I knew I did not want to be carrying babies on my back and working in the fields. That wasn’t going to be for me and it wasn’t going to be for my sisters, either.” – Beatrice Mtetwa