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Lawyers protest against exhibit


LAWYERS representing three Zimrights officials and two others facing allegations of manufacturing fake voter registration certificates yesterday protested against the production of the voters’ manual for Harare province, arguing that it was irrelevant to the individual cases of their clients.


This followed prosecutor Sidney Chinzete’s submission of the voters’ manual as an exhibit.

The lawyers — Beatrice Mtetwa, Tonderai Bhatasara, Tavengwa Masara, Selby Hwacha and Trust Maanda — argued that the document, in its entirety, was irrelevant to the individual cases of their respective clients.

The lawyers are representing Zimrights director Okay Machisa, education programmes officer Leo Chamahwinya, Highfield local chapter chairperson Dorcas Shereni, Farai Bhani, Tatenda Chinaka and Nunurayi Jena in a case in which they are being charged with forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State.

The defence told magistrate Donald Ndirowei that it did not make sense to tender a 400-page document when only the first four pages were going to be used and that was going to be prejudicial to the defence case.

Bhatasara said the information on the said pages was not similar to that on the documents that the State had furnished them with which he said were just summaries. He further argued that the said documents would not prove any particular count.

Mtetwa wanted the court to clarify the lumping together of all accused persons as the details in the evidence did not necessarily apply to all the six accused persons.

The trial continues today.

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