Komichi trial opens

HARARE - Mainstream MDC chief elections officer Morgen Komichi yesterday accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of malpractice and playing to the whims of Zanu PF, as his trial opened at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

Komichi was arrested last month, charged with fraud and contravening the Electoral Act.

This was after he presented to Zec a ballot paper he had been handed over after it was picked up from a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the electoral body’s command centre.

He denies the charges.

His lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Obey Shava applied to have the charges merged, arguing they are constituted of the same facts.

However, prosecutors Michael Mugabe and Jonathan Murombedzi opposed the application and said the charges were properly structured and should be presented separately.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe dismissed the application.

Komichi told the court that he never made any misrepresentation as alleged by the State and said when he presented the ballot paper to Zec, he wanted the electoral body to investigate the issue.

He told the court that when the ballot paper was brought to him by one Michael Phiri, it was open.

The ballot paper belonged to Mugove Chiginya, according to State papers.

“Accused will also say Zec failed to live up to its expectations. It never bothered to investigate as accused expected.

“On his part, accused was not close to where the ballot papers were kept or were being sorted.

“Accused will say that he was very surprised by the behaviour of Zec in its handling of this matter.

“Instead of investigating and getting to the root of what could have been happening, Zec sought to divert attention from its inefficiencies and deficiencies by causing accused’s arrest,” Komichi’s defence outline reads.

He further told the court that his case was just a “tip of the iceberg” in connection with how Zec mishandled the harmonised election.

“Accused will say that Zec failed to run the special vote as it was characterised by chaos and various other electoral malpractices.

“In its handling of the July 2013 harmonised elections Zec generally pandered to the whims and caprices of the political party (Zanu PF) and was not acting independently,” reads part of Komichi’s defence outline.

He said his case had exposed Zec.

Allegations are that on July 25, Komichi sought audience with Zec chairperson Rita Makarau.

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

State witness Utoile Silaigwana, a deputy chief elections officer, testified yesterday before the matter was deferred to today for continuation.

Comments (5)

Komichi is a political prisoner , just like all the MDC T party members who are in jail at the present moment for trumped up charges. While ZANU PF murderers like Newton Kachepa and that woman Aquilina run around freely , MDC T innocent people get imprisoned on trumped up charges. The reason why Komichi is in prison is because he was the chief elections officer of MDC T and ZANU PF wanted him arrested so that they keep him outside the polling stations, so that he did not see the stealing and rigging of votes that they were doing. So when Komichi pointed out the cheating , ZANU PF did not want to be found out of the cheating that they were doing, that of throwing MDC T's votes in the bins, so when Komichi uncovered this cheating , ZANU PF locked him up in jail. What a corrupt justice system ! ! ! Cry my beloved country.

Caps Lock - 28 August 2013

The person that must be in prison is Rita and all the host of zec

ATZ - 28 August 2013

The sad situation in Zimbabwean politics is that even those in the judiciary are comfortable with selective application of the law and prosecution. Surely Rita Makarau, as smart as she is knows that this guy is being persecuted but does nothing to stop it. The reality in Zimbabwe is that its not just enough that ZANU-PF got away with daylight robbery but now they want to rub it in even if that means imprisoning an innocent man. I cannot imagine what it must feel for those that continue to be persecuted being held captive by RGM's regime.

Tino - 28 August 2013

lets say,"if, Komichi indeed committed that crime he is alleged to have, should he have been arrested?,or the police/ courts should not prosecute MDC Lawbreakers because it will be deemed political. ZANU PF or MDC lawbreakers should be arrested if they is no evidence. the court will set them free. ZimRights staff were recently convicted of manufacturing fake voter registration slips on evidence availed in court. its possible that Komichi might be guilty (or not). the majority of zimbos are either ZPF or MDC if anyone gets arrested and we are quick to play the politics party card zvingaite? A policeman was murdered in cold blood in GV. THATS A CRIME! irregardless of our political affiliation the perpetrators of that crime have to be arrested, zvisinei nepolitics in court.

mwana wevhu - 29 August 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.