Komichi bail appeal dismissed

HARARE - Morgen Komichi, the chief elections officer in Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will continue languishing in remand prison after High Court Judge Hlekani Mwayera threw out his bail appeal yesterday.

Komichi, 49, is being charged with fraud and contravening the Electoral Act after he presented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), a ballot paper allegedly picked up from a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre, the commission’s election command centre. 

He allegedly got the ballot paper from an informant identified as Michael Phiri.

Magistrate Anita Tshuma last week, denied Komichi bail, ruling that his release would incite public outcry and was likely to trigger disorder.

She also said Komichi was facing a serious offence and if freed on bail he would interfere with State witnesses as investigations were still ongoing.

Mwayera yesterday said Tshuma had not misdirected herself in arriving at such a decision, arguing that her ruling was in line with the prevailing situation.

“The findings of the lower court were well pinned on the principles of bail. Accordingly the appeal is dismissed,” Mwayera said.

Komichi’s lawyer Andrew Makoni had told the court Tshuma erred in denying his client bail.

“The seriousness of an offence on its own is not a sufficient ground of denying the applicant (Komichi) bail,” Makoni said.

He added that Komichi had a strong alibi in the case, considering the fact that the person who handed him the ballot paper was an identifiable person.

Makoni said the State should not arrest in order to investigate, claiming police were narrowing their case on Komichi, without pursuing Phiri.

However, prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said the Phiri being referred to by Komichi as the informant was fictitious and investigations were still ongoing.

Nyazamba said according to evidence proffered by the investigating officer in the case, it appeared Komichi was working as part of a syndicate, hence might interfere with investigations.

Allegations against Komichi arose on July 25 when a ballot envelope was found in a rubbish bin outside Zec’s command centre, leading to his subsequent arrest at his Bluffhill home three days later.

Comments (10)

It is so painfull if someone who has not stolen from the nation is kept in remand just because he is from the opposition ,Even if this case was credible now we are seeing it as a political crackdown ,or maybe this envelope was a planned thing and KOMICHI fell for it .Very unfortunate his sin was that of being a CHIEF ELECTION OFFICER & this PHIRI will never be found

CASHTALK - 9 August 2013

guys lets be realistic here. thats why i always say sometimes my party miss it. be it deliberately or obliviously it doesnt matter. this is a serious offence and the lawyers know it very well outside political rhetoric that this is a landmine infested area. but they let their kith and kin tampering around. now he will be tried and obviously he will fail to subatantiate a lot of claims. paachafira chete will be on answering the following: 1.Why did you open the secret ballot 2. why didi you go further and voted for your party then take it to the ZEC in a bid to cause unneccesary pandemonium among the electorate. 3. the person who was suppose to have voted said it that i was turned away because my ballot paper envelop could not be established 9only to be found in a bin sealed and Komich took it opened and voted to create some sort of evidence of rigging?? ahhh guys lets wake up and smell the coffee. kunze kwakaedza kudhara uku. i am thinking otherwise. zvichida takakwira chitima chisina musoro vamwe vachienda. Concerned voter (mdc-t supporter)

peter chit - 9 August 2013

zvese izvo tingatemesana musoro idictator riri kungoita zvese izvi kuramba kubva pachigaro kurwadzisa vana vevhu

MUZIMBA - 9 August 2013

I agree with you, Peter Chit although I'm not in your Party. Your is shouting hoarse about rigged elections, yet, they themselves are not looking at themselves into the mirror. Komichi yeHwahwa we'biti' was a potential poll rigger or his mission was to discredit the whole electoral process, scandalizing ZEC personnel and individuals whether appointed by Tsvangirai or Mugabe. MDC-T's behavior and actions before, during, and after the elections are questionable. I think you were genuinely anticipating a whitewash which eventually manifested itself.

zec vs Tsvangison - 9 August 2013

I agree with you, Peter Chit although I'm not in your Party. Your is shouting hoarse about rigged elections, yet, they themselves are not looking at themselves into the mirror. Komichi yeHwahwa we'biti' was a potential poll rigger or his mission was to discredit the whole electoral process, scandalizing ZEC personnel and individuals whether appointed by Tsvangirai or Mugabe. MDC-T's behavior and actions before, during, and after the elections are questionable. I think you were genuinely anticipating a whitewash which eventually manifested itself.

zec vs Tsvangison - 9 August 2013

Peter Chit, you are a pathetic Zanu PF supporter!! In MDC we dont have dull people like you!!

jojo - 9 August 2013

Thanks Jojo. lets not argue with ignorant people. God will soon judge the tyrants. By God s hand Zimbabweans will be delivered. God has allowed them to play with the minds of the electorate so that they will be exposed smart and clear in the end. All those celebrating non existing victory will be ashamed when time comes.

Timotio - 9 August 2013

Zavakaoma

Daniel Msika - 10 August 2013

th truth shal prevail nerimwe ramazuva

cafaz - 12 August 2013

How come two, yes, ZEC top Officials resigned over the shinanigans going on at their offices and at the KGV1 Registrar-General's office. Can you answer that you people who think Komichi is lying? I think not!

Chivula Mapoti - 15 August 2013

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