ZimRights officials denied bail

HARARE magistrate Anita Tshuma on Friday denied bail and remanded in custody two Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZimRights) officials, facing charges of forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud, or publishing false information prejudicial to the State.

CHARLES LAITON

Dorcas Shereni (42) and Leo Chamahwinya (28) employed as chairperson and programme manager respectively, were jointly charged with Farai Bhani (38) a taxi driver and one Tatenda Chinaka, for allegedly manufacturing fake copies of voters’ registration certificates.

Tshuma said it was highly likely that the accused would skip bail given the seriousness of the offence. Investigations were still underway.

They were remanded to January 4 next year.

Allegations against the four are that between May and December, they acted in cahoots and produced fake copies of voters’ registration certificates in a bid to defraud the Registrar-General’s Office.

It is further alleged they used false names to complete the registration forms.

According to the State papers, in May, Bhani registered as a voter and acquired a certificate of registration, which was allegedly used to create several other fake copies.

The State alleges Chamahwinya would use the completed fake documents at ZimRights offices for their analysis, which they would in turn use to criticise and tarnish the Registrar-General’s Office.

It is the State’s contention that as a result of their actions there was a possibility that the misrepresentation would cause “bloodshed or chaotic situation in Zimbabwe” if the fake documents were detected during the anticipated 2013 general elections.

The four are represented by Emmanuel Nyambuya, Tavengwa Masara, Trust Maanda and Tarisai Mutangi.

Apparently, Bhani also appeared on a separate court record where he was jointly charged with Ephraim Matiza (32) and Monarch Chibiku (27) for possessing articles for criminal use.

It is alleged the trio was found in possession of voter registration forms, fake drivers’ licences, birth certificates, passports and marriage certificates and other documents believed to have been used in duping members of the public.

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