Police hijacked election process: Komichi lawyer

HARARE - MDC chief election officer Morgen Komichi’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama has told the court that police hijacked the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s election process, owing to the chaotic voting process.

Muchadehama said this yesterday while cross examining the commission’s deputy chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana.

He said that the electoral body was now using Komichi’s arrest to divert people’s attention from itself in relation to “inefficiencies, deficiencies and chaos” that characterised the election process.

Komichi was arrested last month accused of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act.

This was after he presented to Zec, a ballot paper that had been found in a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the electoral body’s command centre.

He denies the charges. He told Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe that he never made any misrepresentation as alleged by the State, adding that 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 Michael Phiri, it was open.
The ballot paper belonged to Mugove Chiginya.

“I put it to you that how Zec conducted the past election is a classic textbook of how not to run an election?” Muchadehama said while soliciting for Silaigwana’s comment.

Silaigwana said that it was not true and denied the idea that the process was hijacked.

Asked how a ballot paper escaped Zec’s custody, Silaigwana said, “It can happen when the system is intercepted or when there has been an interference in the system.”

He said Komichi intended to discredit Zec’s work and portray the commission in bad light, which could have led to political instability.

Prosecutors Michael Mugabe and Michael Reza, who appeared on behalf of the State, allege that on July 25 Komichi sought audience with Zec chairperson Rita Makarau.

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

The trial continues today.

Comments (2)

I just read in an online paper that Rita Makarau is the wife of Wayne Bvudzijena of the ZRP. Why I am mentioning this is because of her role in ZEC and the elections. I wonder whether when she presided over these elections she thought with her brains or her heart! There were lots of things that were against MDC in this election. I wonder what all the ZANU PFutseki commentators think Tsvangirai should have done to win. Tsvangirai is right, Mugabe got his mandate through stuffed ballots in the rural areas. The verdict has been pronounced by both Rita and Godfrey that he was duly elected. So why does he continue on the path of using vile expletives against losers? His term began when he was inaugurated. He has to hit the ground running. Fulfill your promises Mr Mugabe, this ain't time for looking for scapegoats. People want jobs, health, education for their children, social amenities, and most of all freedom!

Observer - 30 August 2013

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