Komichi remanded to August 14

HARARE - Morgen Komichi, chief elections officer in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, was Tuesday denied bail and further remanded in custody to August 14.

Komichi’s bail application was thrown out by magistrate Anita Tshuma stating that since investigations were still underway, Komichi would interfere with witnesses.

Tshuma said there was a likelihood that Komichi would coerce his informant Michael Phiri, who is still at large.

“The court has also taken into consideration the political environment and that the information has already spilled into the public domain so it can have a negative impact on the publics’ confidence in Zec,” Tshuma said.

The MDC deputy chairperson was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

Komichi, 49, is being charged with fraud and contravening the Electoral Act after he presented to Zec, a ballot paper he had found in a dustbin at the HICC command centre.

Allegations are that on July 25, at HICC, Komichi approached Tendayi Pamire asking to have an audience with Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau after he had found a ballot in a rubbish bin outside the Command Centre.

Komichi alleged that Zec was destroying ballot papers of members of the uniformed forces who voted for Tsvangirai and his MDC party.

The said envelope is alleged to have belonged to Constable Mugove Chiginya, a police officer supposed to have voted for the MDC in Southerton Constituency.

The court heard Chiginya did not vote during the specified special voting period and surrendered an SV2 form to his superiors to indicate that.

On July 26, Chiginya’s finger was examined using an ultra-violet light detector and no traces of voting ink were detected.

On July 28, Komichi was arrested by police at his Bluffhill home.

Komichi’s counsel Andrew Makoni had earlier said the deputy minister’s arrest was politically motivated and calculated to derail his party’s to the benefit of their competitors.

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