ZimRights officials in forgery, fraud charges

HARARE - Two Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZimRights) officials yesterday appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts for allegedly manufacturing fake copies of voters’ registration certificates.

Dorcas Shereni, 42, and Leo Chamahwinya, 28, employed by ZimRights as chairperson and programme manager respectively, are jointly charged with Farai Bhani, 38, a taxi driver and Tatenda Chinaka.

They face forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud charges or publishing false statements prejudicial to the state.

It is alleged the four produced fake copies of voters’ registration certificates between May this year and this month, in a bid to defraud the Registrar General.

The court heard they allegedly used false names to complete the registration forms.

It is alleged Bhani registered as a voter in May this year and acquired a certificate of registration, which the ZimRights officials allegedly used to create several fake ones.

According to court papers, Chamahwinya would allegedly use the completed fake documents at ZimRights offices for their analysis, which they would use to criticise and tarnish the Registrar General’s office, it is claimed.

The court heard that there was a possibility that the misrepresentation could cause “bloodshed or a chaotic situation in Zimbabwe” if the fake documents were only detected during the 2013 general elections.

The four who are represented by Emmanuel Nyambuya, Tavengwa Masara, Trust Maanda and Tarisai Mutangi, will be back in court today for their bail application. - Tendai Kamhungira

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