Legal Resources Foundation refutes closure rumors amid ‘operational adjustments’


HARARE – The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) has announced ongoing ‘operational adjustments’ due to budget constraints, while vehemently denying reports of its closure linked to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Bill.

Legal Resources Foundation in Zimbabwe refutes closure rumors amid operational adjustments

In a statement released on Friday, the LRF clarified that despite the financial challenges, its regional offices in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, and Masvingo will remain open. 

However, these adjustments will result in a reduction in LRF staff and the regrettable closure of certain district offices.

The LRF remains "resolute in its dedication to serving vulnerable members of the community to access justice and enjoy human rights throughout Zimbabwe," the statement read.

The organization dismissed media reports suggesting its closure due to the PVO Bill and the alleged withdrawal of funding by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). 

"Contrary to the misleading and falsified information" circulating, the LRF is not closing, the statement emphasized.

The LRF expressed "deep concern over the inaccuracies and misinterpretation of facts" in circulation, stressing "the need for accurate reporting and transparency in all communications regarding its operational adjustments."

The LRF has taken measures to ensure the seamless operation of all regional offices. District offices in Gutu, Nyanga town, Chipinge, Murambinda, Kwekwe, Hwange town, Mutoko, Karoi, and the LRF National office in Harare will continue to provide essential services.

However, operations have ceased in the district offices of Chiredzi, Zaka, Gokwe, Zvishavane, Beitbridge, and Gwanda.

Despite these operational adjustments, the LRF's commitment to advancing human rights and improving access to justice remains unwavering. 

As a registered PVO, the LRF, said, it remains dedicated to promoting human rights and enhancing access to justice for all.

"Our engagement with marginalized and vulnerable groups, provision of free legal education, legal assistance, and advocacy for law and policy reform, remains central to our mission," the LRF stated.

The organization expressed gratitude to all funding partners, past and present, whose support has ensured the continued existence of the LRF, enabling it to fulfill its mission of ensuring access to justice and enjoyment of human rights for all in Zimbabwe.

The inception of the LRF dates back to 1985 when it laid its foundation through the Harare Legal Projects Centre, the publication of the Zimbabwe Law Reports to record significant legal precedents in the country, and the initiation of a pioneering paralegal program aimed at bringing legal services closer to the general population. 

During its 35-year journey, the organization has diligently broadened its scope and geographical coverage, currently operating through five provincial centers and 13 Legal Advice Centres strategically situated across the nation.

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