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» » BVR: Rights lawyers, ERC offer free services as commissioners of oaths

Upenyu Chaota

- Many people who wanted to register with the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system but could not acquire proof of residence status can now smile as the lawyers in Masvingo have opened their doors to members of the public who want to have their affidavit forms certified.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) affiliated lawyers including Mutendi, Shumba and Mudisi Legal Practitioners, Ruvengo and Maboke Legal Practitioners, Matutu and Mureri Legal Practitioners among others are certifying voter registration affidavit forms free of charge.
Countrywide, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) is collaborating with the Election Resource Centre (ERC) to mobilise volunteer lawyers and deploy them at various centres to assist those who want to register as voters.
Speaking as an affiliate of ZLHR, lawyer Collen Maboke said they decided to offer their services for free because many people do not afford paying the money charged by lawyers of other commissioners of oaths to have their documents certified.
"The ZLHR is driven by the need to see to it that every citizen exercises his/her constitutional right to vote. Normally, we charge at least one dollar to certify a copy and this can be too much for people who want to register to vote. That is why we have decided to go free," said Maboke.
He said it would be unfair for people to fail to register to vote because they do not have the money needed to certify their proof of residence affidavits.local

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