Empowering Justice: Africa University Law Students Transform Lives at Tongogara Refugee Settlement

In a profound demonstration of commitment to justice, the rule of law, and human rights, Africa University School of Law (SOL) students embarked on a transformative outreach initiative to Tongogara Refugee Settlement. Located in the Chipinge District of Zimbabwe and approximately 200 kilometers from the university, this settlement provides refuge to around 16,000 individuals from various strife-torn regions, embodying harmonious coexistence amidst regional turmoil hailing from the  Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Ethiopia to name a few.

Guided by dedicated SOL staff and under the leadership of Dr. TC Nhenga, the Dean of SOL, and supported by Mr. C Munguma, Mr. N Maphosa, Dr. S Phiri, Mr. Phiri, Fulbright Scholar Professor J Mbuba, and Academic Affairs Examinations Officer Mrs. Chiomba, the students provided invaluable legal advice on family law issues, criminal complaints, and access to paperwork during consultation sessions. These sessions highlighted the practical application of legal knowledge acquired through clinical legal education.

Dean of the School of Law Dr. Tendai Nhenga

This initiative, organized by the Law Clinic, epitomizes SOL’s commitment to cultivating socially responsible legal professionals equipped to address pressing societal issues. Embedded within the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program, the initiative aims to prepare graduates to contribute to national, regional, and international development across legal, social, economic, and political spheres.

Participants listen intently during a presentation by the School of Law

Moreover, the outreach aligns seamlessly with SOL’s strategic objectives, Africa University’s Strategic Plan, Sustainable Development Goals, Education 5.0, the National Development Strategy, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. By offering crucial legal assistance to marginalized communities, the Law Clinic not only provides students with hands-on experience but also positively impacts society.

Fulbright Scholar Professor Mbuba addresses students of Tongogara Refugee Camp

 

As a result of this initiative, the Tongogara community received vital legal aid, reinforcing Africa University’s commitment to justice and the principles embedded in its Bachelor of Laws program. Through initiatives like these, Africa University shapes tomorrow’s legal landscape by nurturing socially responsible legal professionals cognizant of the interdependence of law, ethics, peace, and justice.

 

The outreach also showcased the peaceful coexistence among refugees from diverse backgrounds, sending a powerful message of unity and tolerance. This experience underscores the pivotal role of legal professionals in promoting peace, justice, and social cohesion within communities.

One on one legal counseling sessions were delivered with a member of staff from the SOL and an SOL student learning the intricacies of clinical law firsthand

In summary, Africa University reaffirms its dedication to fostering a culture of legal excellence, social justice, and positive societal impact. Through initiatives like the Tongogara Refugee Settlement outreach, the university remains at the forefront of nurturing legal professionals committed to shaping a better future for Africa and beyond.