Komichi shackled for court appearance

HARARE - MDC chief election officer, Morgen Komichi, yesterday appeared in court in handcuffs and leg irons.

Zimbabwean prison officers led Komichi into court wearing chains and prison garb.

Komichi stood silently in the dock at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

The magistrate accepted a request from defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama for Komichi to be unshackled.

Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe said it was not necessary for Komichi, who is accused of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act, to appear in court in leg-irons.

Komichi was arrested after he allegedly 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 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.

The ballot paper belonged to a police officer Mugove Chiginya.

Muchadehama, yesterday continued cross examining Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s deputy chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana.

On Thursday, Muchadehama told the court that it appeared Chiginya was registered in four constituencies.
According to an extract from the voters’ roll presented by Muchadehama, Chiginya was registered in Mbare constituency ward nine, yet there is no ward nine in Mbare.

Muchadehama said ward nine is found in Harare East constituency.

It also appeared from the envelopes that were allegedly retrieved from the dustbin and Silaigwana’s statement that Chiginya was a registered voter in Sourtherton and Harare constituency respectively.

“How does it happen that a person is registered in four constituencies?” Muchadehama queried.

“I put it to you that this is more than confusion, this is chaos at its worst,” Muchadehama said.

Silaigwana rejected the charge, arguing that it was Muchadehama’s perspective.

“I suggest that this is typical of what Zec was doing in the election, that is registering them (voters) in constituencies that they did not reside, sending ballots to wards that did not belong to them and having phantom voters, who would vote for people who would not have voted,” Muchadehama said.

Silaigwana said during the special voting exercise a person could choose to vote anywhere within his or her constituency.

“The special vote did not require a person to vote from where he is registered,” Silaigwana said.

He said the special voting process was ward-based and not constituency-based and maintained that Komichi tampered with the envelopes thereby contravening the Electoral Act. He said Komichi had opened the sealed ballot paper out of curiosity and other ulterior motives.

Muchadehama said Komichi received the envelopes from Michael Phiri already opened.

“You caused accused’s arrest in order to cover up on what had been discovered,” Muchadehama said.

Comments (5)

This is the tip of the ice-berg. No wonder why Zanu pf is refusing with the electronic voters roll.The idea was to allow for multiple voting.And if there is nothing like Mbare ward nine how many other constituents had extra registered non-existent polling stations.Eric knight shhould be challenging Zec on this evidence.Mugabe is an election thief and should be ashamed of himself. the courts should release Komichi and investigate Rita Makarau.

Squarebasher - 31 August 2013

Why would Komichi appear in court in handcuffs and leg irons as if he is a murderer? It looks like the whole trial is aimed at humiliating both Komichi and his party, MDC T. The trial has nothing to do with justice at all. ZEC seems bent on trying to rescue themselves from the electoral mess which they put the nation through in order to give the vote to their favourite candidate, Robert Mugabe and his party, ZPF. When will we one day have a sense of decency in the hearts and minds of public officials? To arrest a man who reports a crime is the most shameful thing a police force can ever do. Police and Zec have lost any sense of justice.

Chenjerai Hove - 31 August 2013

Komichi was arrested because he was chief elections officer for MDC T. Komichi was arrested because he exposed cheating , fraud and election rigging by ZEC . ZANU PF's ZEC locked up this man on trumped up charges. Komochi is a political prisoner. The courts are wasting tax payers' money on a trial based on a trivial and unprosecutable case. Komichi should not have been arrested for exposing dirt on ZEC. So ZEC by prosecuting Komichi , they are actually showing us they are the ones that are cheats. This case is now in the public and has exposed ZEC of a corrupt justice system .If ZEC had not arrested Komichi , no one would have known about ZEC's cheating. Now the whole world is reading about Komichi and they are saying what a corrupt justice system in Zimbabwe. Komichi must be released from jail immediately and leg irons are for hard core criminals. What a corrupt justice system ! ! ! !

For Sure - 31 August 2013

Utoile Silaigwana is an active ZNA officer and yet ZEC says they do not have members of the army amongst them... shame on these morons.

Tino - 31 August 2013

ADVICE: Do something for yourself, for your beloved family. Don't waste your time talking politics while others are enjoying their lives with money without talking politics. See how this Zimbabwean poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accident cars. Very interesting. Go to (USED.CO) not dot com, to see the methods and companies she was using to do that (USED.CO) not dot com, it is a very simple idea but a very powerful One, Wake up Africans

Vada - 1 September 2013

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