State wants Komichi jailed

HARARE - The State has appealed against MDC chief elections officer Morgan Komichi’s 350 hours community service sentence, protesting that the verdict was too lenient.

The appeal was due to be heard on Friday, but was postponed after the presiding judge Felistas Chatukuta excused herself.

Komichi, who is represented by prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama, was ordered to perform community service at Marlbereign Clinic last November after Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe found him
guilty of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act.

Mahwe initially sentenced Komichi to 18 months in prison, before suspending eight months on condition of good behaviour.

The other 10 months were suspended on condition Komichi performs 350 hours of community service.

Muchadehama has since successfully applied for the deferring of the community service sentence pending the hearing of Komichi’s appeal against conviction and the sentence.

However, prosecutor Michael Mugabe has also appealed against the sentence, arguing that it was too lenient.

The appeal will now be heard on January 24.

Komichi was arrested in July last year after he presented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), a ballot paper envelope he allegedly received from Michael Phiri.

According to state papers, the ballot paper was picked up from a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the electoral body’s command centre.

The court heard that Komichi approached Tendayi Pamire seeking to have an audience with Zec chairperson Rita Makarau after a ballot envelope was found in a rubbish bin outside the command centre.

The State claimed that Komichi accused Zec of destroying ballot papers of members of the uniformed forces who voted for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC.

According to state papers, the envelope belonged to Mugove Chiginya, a police officer, who was supposed to have voted for the MDC in the Southerton Constituency. The court heard that Chiginya however, failed
to vote during the special voting period.

On July 28, Komichi was arrested at his Bluff Hill home in connection with the retrieved ballot paper.

Comments (3)

...meanwhile, police officers at Avondale who (among aother cases) demanded a $50 bribe from Jah Prayzah's uncle were transferred to other police stations around the copuntry...while handing over a found ballot to the responsible authority deserves jail time for Komichi.

JSC - 20 January 2014

We condemn in all terms what the zanu pf prosecutor is trying to do to Mr Komichi.This is not fair at all. Whilst zanu pf policemen have been transferred for stealing and bribing,Mr Komichi is to be sentenced for handing over a ballot paper,shame.The judiciary system must be fair here. We will not keep quiet but we are going to make noise this time around,mavakufarisa manje.

josefa chinotimba - 20 January 2014

Idofo ripiko rinonzi Michael Mugabeiri ririkuda here kureva kuti judge akatadza kupa mutongo..kkkkkk...shame on you Mr prosecutor

PERS - 20 January 2014

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