Komichi arrested

HARARE - MDC Alliance elections officer Morgen Komichi was yesterday arrested and detained at Harare Central Police Station for interrupting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s 2018 election results announcement.

Komichi is due to appear in court today. He is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR.

He is being charged with contravening Section 186 of the Electoral Act which criminalises interrupting, obstructing or disturbing proceedings related to the announcement of the results.

Police allege that Komichi interrupted the electoral process by saying: “I did not sign those results, so the results are fake. The results have just been printed and they have not been verified by the polling agents and we are the polling agents, we have not done that. The polling agents verified the results from……. The presidential results are constituency-based results and the constituency results have not been announced and not verified. We held a meeting today with the CEO and we agreed on the process and the process was not followed. Thank you very much we have our position.”

Shava slammed the police for delaying his client’s appearance before a magistrate since the paperwork was completed by 9:41am yesterday.

“He has been detained in police cells under unclear circumstances. All the paperwork was ready by 9:41am. At around 11am a group of 10 police officers in civilian clothes sought to interrogate him in a separate room which I was barred from entering,” Shava told the Daily News.

“They advised that the interrogations had nothing to do with the charges and I objected before they abandoned that course of action. At 1330hrs, we were advised that instead of going to court, we decided to put him in cells and that was it.”

Komichi becomes the second MDC Alliance official to be arrested in connection with the recently-held elections, controversially won by president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa and are the subject of a court challenge.

The party’s co-principal Tendai Biti is currently challenging the authority of Zimbabwean courts to prosecute him after he was dragged back into the country from Zambia where he sought asylum.

In that matter, Biti is charged with contravening the Electoral Act and inciting the violence that rocked Harare on August 1.

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