With email comment by Eddie Cross: “Komichi is the Vice Chairman of the MDC. He is a professional Engineer who used to help manage a major coal fired power station in Zimbabwe. In the past elections he was responsible for relations with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Just after the Special Voting exercise, a cleaner found discarded completed ballot forms in a dustbin. This was reported to the MDC who collected them and handed them to the Vice Chairman for submission to the ZEC as part of our evidence that the Special Voting Exercise was shambolic and open to fraud. He was arrested and has now been in custody for 6 weeks. His “trial” is a complete mockery of justice and a clear example of the use of the whole judicial system to intimidate and suppress all opponents to the Zimbabwe regime. The fact that he is being held in leg irons and handcuffs even though he is no threat or flight risk is yet another example of the appalling record of the judicial system in Zimbabwe. It take great courage and determination to stand up to this system and I salute Mr. Komichi for his stance and pray for his family.”
The MDC’s position that the just ended elections were not credible, free and fair was further strengthened in court today in the trial of Senator Morgen Komichi after it emerged that there were serious irregularities in the special voting exercise.
Senator Komichi is the MDC deputy national chairperson who is facing false charges of contravening the Electoral Act.
The confusion which marred the special voting and harmonised elections continued to emerge after it was exposed at the Harare Magistrares’ Courts that Mugove Chiginya did not vote in the local council, parliamentary and presidential elections during the special vote period despite his ballot papers showing that he had cast his vote.
The ballot papers were presented in court as part of the exhibit.
Chiginya is a police officer based at Mbare Police Station and his ballot papers were found dumped in a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre which was the command center of ZEC.
These details were revealed at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts during the cross examination of Utoile Silaigwana, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), deputy chief elections officer by the defence counsel, Alec Muchadehama.
Senator Komichi was arrested last month after handing over ballot papers belonging to Chiginya to senior ZEC officials.
It emerged in court today that although Chiginya’s ballot papers were delivered to Mt Pleasant Hall polling station where the special voting exercise was taking place on 14 and 15 July, the police officer did not cast his vote although the ballot papers presented in court showed that he had voted.
It further emerged in court that the special voting exercise was shambolic as there was no voters’ roll but a voter register, making the voting process highly porous as people including those not on the voters’ roll being able to vote more than once.`
Silaigwana failed to explain why ZEC had failed to stop the chaos claiming that he was not well versed with most of the questions asked by the defence counsel.
Meanwhile, Muchadehama had to seek the assistance of the trial magistrate, Tendai Mahwe for Senator Komichi to be removed from leg shackles during the trial proceedings. Since the start of the trial on Tuesday, Senator Komichi has been appearing in court in leg irons and would spend the whole day in such a state, a situation which restrained him during proceedings.