Legal Resources Foundation downsizes operations amid budget constraints

The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) is downsizing its operations in certain districts of the country due to budget constraints but it has denied that it is closing shop.

According to LRF, it is embarking on operational adjustments that would also entail a reduction of staff.

However, the LRF said its team of lawyers and paralegals remain strategically positioned to assist members of the public access legal services.

The organisation confirmed this move in a press statement.

“LRF hereby notifies its stakeholders and the public of the ongoing operational adjustments being implemented in response to unfortunate budget constraints. As a result, while all LRF regional offices in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo will remain open and operational across the country, these adjustments entail a reduction in LRF staff and the regrettable  closure of certain district offices,” said LRF.

LRF said notwithstanding the ongoing operational adjustments, it was still committed to assisting the marginalised community in Zimbabwe to obtain justice.

“Despite these changes, the LRF remains resolute in its dedication to serving vulnerable members of the community to access justice and enjoy human rights throughout  Zimbabwe,” said the organisation, denying reports that it was closing down owing to the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill, a proposed law that would severely restrict civic spac and possibly the right to freedom of association.

The LRF wishes to clarify and correct any misconceptions arising from recent publications…  Contrary to the misleading and falsified information presented in those publications, the LRF is not closing.” 

The organisation added that it expresses “deep concern  over the inaccuracies and misinterpretation of facts contained within the article, emphasising the need for accurate reporting and transparency in all communications regarding  its operational adjustments.”

 The LRF said it has taken necessary  measures to make sure there is seamless operation of all regional offices.

“The following districts will continue to provide essential services in Gutu offices in Masvingo, Nyanga Town Office, Chipinge and Murambinda offices in Manicaland, Mutoko, Karoi offices in Mashonaland and the LRF national office in Harare metropolitan,” LRF said. 

“ The district office that have ceased operations include Chiredzi and Zaka offices in Masvingo Gokwe and Zvishavane offices on Midlands as well as the Beitbridge and Gwanda offices on Matabeleland.”

Despite the downsizing, which LRF described as “necessary operational adjustments” the organisation reiterated its commitment to advancing human rights and improving access to justice.

“As a registered Private Voluntary Organisation, the LRF reiterates its dedication to promoting human rights and enhancing access to justice for all. Our engagement with marginalised and vulnerable groups, provision of free legal education, legal assistance and advocacy for law and policy reform remain central to our mission,” said LRF.

“Our team of lawyers and paralegals strategically positioned across all of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces remains committed to upholding our mission of advocating for human rights and making sure there is access to justice for all.”

The LRF also expressed gratitude to all its funding partners, “past and present whose support has made sure there is continued  existence of the LRF.”

“So that the organisation fulfills its mission that of making sure there is access to justice and enjoyment of human rights for all in Zimbabwe,” said the organisation.  

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