MDC-T’s Komichi Convicted But Spared Jail

via RadioVop Zimbabwe – MDC-T’s Komichi Convicted But Spared Jail By Amos Maseko 7 November 2013 

Embattled MDC-T deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi was on Thursday found guilty of committing electoral fraud but was spared the dreaded prison sentence after Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe considered his pleas that he had already spent three months detained at Chikurubi Remand Prison.

The former Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister was convicted on both fraud and the alternative charge of contravening Section 85 (i) of the Electoral Act, charges which he vehemently denied during his trial.

In his ruling, Mahwe said his court established the MDC-T chief elections agent had indeed hatched a plan – as alleged by the state – with some unnamed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials to discredit the “good name” of ZEC.

Mahwe said it was apparent the stray ballot paper presented to ZEC by Komichi had not been cast by Constable Mugove Chigwinya in an official polling station but was obtained under suspicious circumstances and cast by Komichi in cahoots with his mysterious accomplices to misrepresent that ZEC was not in total control of the country’s controversial electoral process.

“Clearly, the intention was to prejudice the good name of ZEC,” Mahwe said in his sentencing remarks, “Accordingly, the accused has been found guilty as charged on both counts.”

Komichi, a first offender, was immediately slapped with18 months imprisonment, eight of which were wholly suspended on condition he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

The remaining 10 months were suspended on condition that he performs 350 hours of community service at Harare’s Mabelreign Clinic starting on Monday.

The sentence was passed after Mahwe had heard pleas for a lesser sentence by Komichi’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama who submitted during mitigation that the former ZESA employee had already “served” three months at Chikurubi Remand Prison.

Komichi and his lawyer will on Friday morning appear again before the same court to make submissions for an appeal against the community service sentence.

The seemingly light sentence was met with scenes of celebrations from dozens of MDC-T activists who packed the court room at Harare Magistrates Court in solidarity with him.

Among them were party deputy president Thokozani Khupe, party national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and youth assembly leader Solomon Madzore.

Komichi was arrested on July 28 after he had approached ZEC with a stray ballot paper which he claimed was picked by an MDC-T sympathiser who said he had picked it from a dust bin at the Harare International Conference Centre where ZEC was based during the electoral period.

The MDC-T, which claims bias against it by the electoral body, is adamant Komichi was being sacrificed by the authorities to cover up ZEC’s failures in managing the harmonised elections which were won by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 29
  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    Did the magistrate consider that it is the illegal actions by the likes of Komichi that gives the West cover to continue imposing sanctions on the country? In attempting to discredit ZEC, it makes undesirable results contestable. People are suffering because of such treasonous acts. The man never divulged how he got the papers and he gets a suspended sentence? Clearly judgement by inducement.

    • comment-avatar
      nesbert majoni 8 years ago

      you are a fool. which sanctions are you talking about.the economy died long before these so called sanctions

    • comment-avatar
      Rudadiso 8 years ago

      Farai, why are you concerned about what the west think? Didnt we adopt a look east policy ages ago and our president told Blair to keep his Britain while he keeps his Zimbabwe?

      Our Chinese friends declared the elections free and fair but it seems it is not enough for you.

      • comment-avatar
        farai 8 years ago

        Rudy, such an intellectual name! Our foreign policy say we want to be at peace with ALL NATIONS OF THE WORLD based on EQUITY. Sanctions are a declaration of economic war. No peace there, no equity either.

    • comment-avatar
      Haruna 8 years ago

      Farai Bonga, kkkkkkkk

  • comment-avatar
    Dzvondo 8 years ago

    Farai , with all due respect , that judge knew pretty well that Komichi is innocent but to cover face the state had to instruct the judge to pass that sentence. There is just too much interference and manipulation of judges by the state.

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    Dzvondo, stolen ballot papers is the crime. Found with Komichi. Suspect. The question is how did he get them? He is an accomplice and since he chose to protect his partners in crime he should assume full responsibility for the crime. If you believe the dustbin story then I have absolutely no argument with you.

  • comment-avatar

    Hanzi the good name of ZEC. So judges can now judge if the actions of an entity are good or bad.

  • comment-avatar
    Jenandebvu 8 years ago

    Farai is mistaken on a few things. Sanctions are comiing about bcoz of the way Zimbabwe treat its citizen like goats or cows. Komichi is just an example. Some will go to jail for calling HE a goat or a dog! How man times has HE scorned Morgan in public? Did HE go to jail. NO, beecause the courts are biased. Right now DA elections for ZPF were stopped for few of fraud, why did the July 31 continue on fear of same fraud scandals?

  • comment-avatar
    Chivulamapoti 8 years ago

    Farai is a fool, only Mugarbage, Dis-grace and their henchmen face sanctions.
    Also the USAA, EU and UK give Zim more than the rest of the world COMBINED.
    Even your new Colonists, China!
    About Komichi, he got off lightly for ZANU-PF to save face. No evidence,
    no witnesses, no charges. Three months, as long as it took Mugarbage to publish
    the last STOLEN elections in 2008.

    • comment-avatar
      farai 8 years ago

      Chivulamapoti, “the lost child of the empire”
      of the 13000 ha brother in Zambia! Research shows that 90% of funds donated through NGO’s go to administrative expenses (British Govt research 1990). That should explain to you that despite the big numbers there is little on the ground to show. Now you were saying?

  • comment-avatar
    Mafuta 8 years ago

    Not a crime to defraud, just a crime to expose fraud.

  • comment-avatar
    Peter tosh 8 years ago

    Farsi u are sick somewhere, u bomboclaat!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    AFRICAN JUSTICE IS WARPED!

  • comment-avatar
    tkpatson 8 years ago

    “Dont think like AFRICANS” this is Harare not…….I quote

  • comment-avatar

    I guess that if the judge were to be truly fair then in addition to trying to figure out where Komichi got that one single ballot paper, then he should also have asked the ZEC to account for the 2 million extra ballot papers that they printed? They still have not provided any detailed accountability for any of the ballots, let alone those extra 2 million. All that they have provided are figures which were supposedly given to them by the JOC and Nikov.

    I’m also curious how the judge can construe that a crime has been committed? He claims that Komichi’s crime was attempting to tarnish the reputation of the ZEC, but Komichi was the MDC’s representative at the ZEC and in that capacity approached them about what he had found. He did not go running to the press with lurid allegations, nor did he report it to any other entity. He was keeping it an internal matter until the ZEC decided to have him arrested for something that most people would say was part of his job. It sounds like his crime was assuming that the ZEC was an unbiased institution and that they would be interested in correcting any ballot anomalies before the elections. He should have known better then to trust ZANU-PF to play by the rules. Now that the election is over, we all know how disreputable and partisan the ZEC is, and the fact that they still allowed this case to proceed just proves that!

  • comment-avatar
    Sekuru Mapenga 8 years ago

    Another disgraceful story from the Zimbabwean judiciary finally comes to an end. Collusion between the crooks and the judges to persecute the innocent.

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    Jenandevu, Now that you accept we are under sanctions, for whatever reason? That’s a good start! In international law due process should be followed to reach a verdict justifying punitive action. That’s where it gets illegal! Do you follow?

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    Lesson 101, don’t go fishing in the bin, least you find a crime, waiting for ownership!

    Long before the shredder and long before we went cyber, the bin was a popular hunt for industrial espionage. The court might have failed to prove how these papers ended in the bin but the question stubbornly refuses to go away! Would that one vote have had a material effect?

    Just after the elections, the claim was 750 000 failed to vote then some Smart Alec realized that that would not change the final outcome. Now the new fashionable claim is 2 million local and 3 million in the diaspora.

  • comment-avatar

    Now I believe that may be we Africans must truly listen and understand what ZUMA is trying to say. If not, the African will remain close to an ape (in terms of behaviours and actions)

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    correct Dzvondo, this is just a face saving effort by the courts,the case was kept on the boil to divert attention from what JOC was doing to poor Rita’s ZEC.Do’nt hold your breath in waiting for similar charges being leveled against ZEC and JOC.

  • comment-avatar
    Bambanani Sizwesakithi 8 years ago

    Hats off to lawyer Alec Muchadehama, ZANU PF could have chosen to keep Komichi in custody forever had he not had a good lawyer like Alec Muchadehama. The magistrate had to save his face, otherwise why would someone be punished for picking a paper from a dustbin? They might as well round up all the vagrants who feed from dustbins in the streets of Harare!

  • comment-avatar

    Guys most of you are pointing fingers at Farai without offering any level of analysis. You have not disputed the facts presented in court yet your verdict is a resounding ” INNOCENT”! Shame on you Zimboz, you are worse than the system you are accusing!

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    When party officials go fishing in the bin, what are vagrants going to do?

  • comment-avatar

    Im sorry but I just cannot believe some of the pre school cr*p you people have to say on these posts, and making total fools of your selves…There is a saying…” Why do you not keep your mouth shut farai, and let people think you are a fool, instead of opening it and removing all doubt!!

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    GBZ, you mean the whole saying is dedicated to me? Gee man I am flattered! Now what is your contribution to this intercourse? Intellectual silence?