HARARE – High Court judge Samuel Kudya has freed ZimRights director Okay Machisa who was fighting forgery and fraud charges.
Kudya set aside Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe’s ruling placing Machisa on remand.
The ruling followed an application filed by Machisa’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa for a review of proceedings.
Mtetwa told the High Court that Mahwe had misdirected himself and committed a gross irregularity by ignoring that facts which appeared in court papers did not relate to Machisa.
She said there was no attempt to indicate what Machisa did in his personal capacity to be charged.
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.
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 used false names to complete the duplicate registration forms.
According to court papers, Chamahwinya allegedly used the completed fake documents at the organisation’s offices for an analysis, which they intended to use in criticising and tarnishing the Registrar General’s office.
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. – Tendai Kamhungira