Three ZimRights officials, convicted of manufacturing fake voter registration slips, were sentenced today by Harare Magistrate, Donald Ndirowei.
by Edgar Gweshe
The first and second accused persons, Tatenda Chinaka and Farai Bhani were sentenced to 24 months imprisonment each with 12 months of the sentence being suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The remaining 12 months were suspended as well on condition that the two perform 380 hours of community service each.
The third accused person, Dorcas Shereni, who is the ZimRights Highfield Chapter Chairperson, was ordered to pay a fine of $1 000 or face a 12 month jail term.
She was given up to August 30 to pay her fine. Shereni’s sentence was arrived at after the Court considered that she walked with the aid of crutches and was therefore not capable of doing community service.
The three were facing forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud charges or publishing false statements prejudicial to the state.
It was the state’s case that the three allegedly produced fake copies of voters’ registration certificates between May and December last year, in a bid to defraud the Registrar General.
According to the State, they allegedly used false names to complete the registration forms. It was alleged Bhani registered as a voter in May last year and acquired a certificate of registration, which the ZimRights officials allegedly used to create several fake ones.
ZimRights Director, Okay Machisa and the organisation’s Programmes Manager, Leo Chamahwinya, were acquitted of the charges in June at the close of the State case.
Shereni was represented by lawyer, Trust Maanda, Bhani by Tonderai Bhatasara while Chinaka was represented by Tavengwa Musara.