via Prosecutor General goes after Morgen Komichi | The Herald by Daniel Nemukuyu November 22, 2013
The Prosecutor General’s Office wants the community service imposed on MDC-T deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi to be reversed and have the politician jailed for criminally obtaining a special voting ballot paper which he marked, sealed and re-opened.Sources yesterday said the PG’s office was already preparing papers to contest the 350 hours of community service that Komichi was sentenced to two weeks ago by Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.
The State views the sentence as too lenient and is expected to file the papers at the High Court any time soon.
Sources said the State intends to file a Chamber application for leave to appeal against sentence before filing the proper notice of appeal.
Asked to comment on the matter, Chief Law Officer Mr Michael Mugabe could neither confirm nor deny the latest developments.
He said the State had the right of appeal just like an accused person.
“The State can also appeal the same way the accused persons do,” he said. “We are also allowed to appeal.”
Komichi was sentenced to eight months in jail for fraud and another 10 months for contravening Section 85(1) (e) of the Electoral Act.
The eight months were suspended on good behaviour, while the remaining 10 months were set aside on condition Komichi performed 350 hours of community service.
But sources said the Prosecutor General’s Office was of the view that it was not proper for Mr Mahwe to pronounce such as sentence after he made a finding that the offence committed was “very serious”.
The sentence, the office is expected to argue, was manifestly inadequate and has to be reviewed.
Komichi’s actions were viewed as part of the MDC-T’s efforts to discredit the harmonised elections which it went on to lose dismally to Zanu-PF.
After the elections, the party approached various courts, but failed to provide evidence to back its claims of electoral fraud. Komichi’s case, was thus largely seen as an attempt to make a case for the alleged rigging.
In passing sentence, Mr Mahwe considered that Komichi’s actions had the potential for far reaching consequences.
Komichi’s case crumbled after he promised to call Michael Phiri, whom he said had given him the ballot papers, as a witness, but the man never showed up.
This left the court convinced Komichi had acted on his own with the intention to discredit Zec and cause confusion with regards to the electoral body’s handling of elections.
Facts are that on July 25 at Harare International Conference Centre, Komichi approached Zec’s Tendayi Pamire asking to have an audience with Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, saying a ballot envelope for special voting had been found in a rubbish bin outside the command centre.
The State alleged that Komichi accused Zec of destroying ballot papers belonging to members of the uniformed forces who voted for the MDC-T.
The court heard that the envelope belonged to Constable Mugove Chiginya, a police officer who failed to vote at Mt Pleasant polling station because his papers were not available at the station.