ZimRights director weeps in court

HARARE - ZimRights director Okay Machisa wept at the High Court as his bail appeal hearing was postponed for the fourth time yesterday.

Machisa shed tears as he was being leg cuffed soon after High Court Judge Felistas Chatukuta said the necessary documents were not included in the record for her to deal with the application.

“I do not have the full record of proceedings, so I did not manage to go through the record,” said Chatukuta.

The human rights defender’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa filed the appeal last Thursday after her client had been denied bail by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

Prosecutors allege Machisa together with Dorcas Shereni, Leo Chamahwinya, Farai Bhani and Tatenda Chinaka produced fake copies of voters’ registration certificates between May last year and this month, in a bid to defraud the Registrar General’s office.

The other four remained in custody after the High Court turned down their bail application.

They are all accused of forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State.

It is alleged Bhani registered as a voter and acquired a certificate of registration, which the ZimRights officials used to create duplicate forms.

The court heard ZimRights officials allegedly used false names to complete the duplicate registration forms.

According to court papers, Chamahwinya allegedly used the completed fake documents at their offices for an analysis, which they intended to use in criticising and tarnishing the Registrar General’s office.

The court heard 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 bail hearing was postponed to Monday. - Tendai Kamhungira

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