Zim woman guns for top UN agency post

NYARADZAI Gumbonzvanda, a Zimbabwean, is in the running for the post of executive director of UN Women which fell vacant when the first head, Michelle, Bachelet resigned in March to campaign in the Chilean presidential elections.


According to Global Memo, the deadline for nominations for the post was on Monday and Gumbonzvanda was one of the six nominees.

Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA which covers 125 countries, knows what it is like to struggle against poverty, reproductive health rights and violence: she herself comes from a poor family in Magaya village in Murewa district, which lies northeast of Harare.

To her credit, Gumbonzvanda boasts of extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation, including 20 years’ experience on issues of women and children’s human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries.

She served for 10 years with the United Nations, through Unicef and Unifem (now part of UN Women) in Africa and founded Rozaria Memorial Trust in honour of her late mother and in recognition of all unsung heroines in communities.

Recently, Gumbonzvanda served as commissioner for the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children’s Health. She is the 2011 recipient of the Human Rights Defenders Award, conferred by the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association, an organisation she served as first co-ordinator during its formative stages.

Other contenders for the post include former Costa Rican Vice-President Rebeca Grynspan; UN Women acting executive director Lakshmi Puri, former special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy from Sri Lanka; former president of Finland Tarja Halonen; and Canada’s former and first female prime minister Kim Campbell.

According to Global Memo, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s senior appointment team will vet the nominees and present to him a short list of three candidates paving way for interviews and completion of the process possibly within the next three months.
The 2010 vetting process and selection was wrapped up in seven weeks, in part to have the first executive director in place before the General Assembly convened. Last month, John Hendra, associate executive director at UN Women, said the new search could take up to three months.

But if this year’s process is less competitive (less than 25+ candidates as in 2010), a nominee may be announced before the body’s executive board meets at the end of June or shortly thereafter.


  1. Go for it girl & gd luck. Hpe u wl do us proud by landing the post

  2. Good luck, hanzvadzi yaZobha. We a all behind you.

  3. Thank you my brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, in Africa and the world over for this extraordinary affirmation and support.

    1. Proff PL Tavengwa

      How ar u sister/mother. Nothing much to say but remember there is nothing which is imposible in front of
      God so what i cam say is i wosh u the best in all yr interviles until u get nominated. I hope u will make our country proud. 8

  4. all the best hanzvadzi,…the position is really yoz. God bless

  5. gilbert masuka

    Go fo it

  6. Adebayo Anthony Kehinde

    Nyaradzayi am sure you will do a very wonderful job if giving the opportunity..

  7. Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda may you experience the Lord’s favour and victory on this post. Remember the bible in Mathew 18 vs 18 – 19 says I tell you the tuth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. AND if two of you agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

    I am sure we are more than two who are in agreement in this matter and our Father in heaven will do it and has already done it. So its a done deal lets thank the Lord for it.

  8. Go for it Nyaradzayi, our support is undoubtable. God as always will deliver it.

  9. Phunyukabemphethe

    UN, the woman should change that ugly name. No body can pronounce these gngiri ngiri kwere kwere names and surnames!!!

    1. You are equal to the task ma’am wish u all da best of luck…god bless you!!

  10. All the best. UN heads however tend not to be nationals of the country the UN will be operating in. Maybe you will change this rule…. bonne chance

  11. You will make it ma, proud to be a young woman in your time. You inspire me. All the best

  12. wish you all the best my sister

  13. Basa nderako mwana wamai! Take it! Take! Take it, before they even give it! “Nyaradzai Gumbo”; your original surname unpronounceable!

  14. Mama majak ywca Nig

    Our hearts are in prayer 4 u to get the position

  15. Phunyu


  16. While it is good to wish, but the best always win. THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND FORMER VICE PRESIDENT and the adviser to the secretary general to me seem to have an upper hand in this competition.It is then wise to prepare our fellow Zimbabwean to welcome the obvious non selection when it comes.It is dashed high hopes that make a loss painful and difficult to accept.We advise that our human rights lawyer continue with her current station with true knowledge that she cannot win against those better than her.

  17. dont leave the chance.ramba wakati kwati kwati mwana wevhu!

  18. Loreen Chatira

    Nyaradzayi is an inspiration to women globally , she is well accomplished and is a strong contender for this post.Best wishes to her and all women out there who advocate for the rights of the voiceless.

  19. u are always a blessing in our family for u always make us shine around the World. keep it up aunt. whatever happen we stand with you.

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