via Komichi’s application dismissed | The Herald November 9, 2013 by Fungai Lupande
MDC-T deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi will begin his 350 hours of community service at Mabelreign Clinic on Monday after the court yesterday threw out his request to have the sentence suspended pending a High Court appeal. In dismissing the application, magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe said Komichi was wasting the court’s time and advised his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama to stop pretending not to know the law. Komichi was on Thursday found guilty of criminally obtaining a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ballot paper which he marked, sealed and reopened in a bid to cast aspersions on the electoral body to abet his party’s bid to discredit the harmonised elections.
“Defence counsel stop wasting the court’s time when you clearly know that there has to be an appeal which is pending for one to make an application for suspension of sentence,” said Mr Mahwe.
“This means there is no application before this court, therefore, your application is dismissed.”
This came after the State led by Mr Michael Mugabe opposed the application as defective.
“The notice of appeal that this court was given is not a genuine one after all,” he said. “There is no stamp from the High Court to show that it was lodged.
“There is also no stamp from the Attorney General’s Office, who is the respondent, to show that they have received the application. These are simple rules of procedure to be followed.”
In his application, Komichi was seeking to have the 350 hours of community service suspended pending a High Court appeal against the conviction and sentence. “There are prospects of success on the appeal because this court seriously misdirected itself in the manner it treated the evidence of State witnesses,” he said.
“The sentence was excessive and shocking considering that there was no real prejudice done to ZEC or anyone. This was an isolated event and there is likelihood that a different court can set aside the sentence.”
Mr Mahwe convicted Komichi of electoral fraud and contravening the country’s electoral law and sentenced him to 12 months in prison on fraud charges and six months for contravening the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13, to make it 18 months in prison.
Mr Mahwe set aside eight months for five years on condition Komichi does not commit an offence involving dishonesty and contravening the electoral laws. He suspended the remaining 10 months on condition Komichi performs 350 hours of community service.