Komichi’s bail appeal dismissed

The High Court Judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera has dismissed the bail appeal application filed by Morgan Komichi, the chief election agent for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai saying reasons for ruling would be released upon request.

The outgoing Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development and the party’s deputy national chairperson, was arrested on Sunday July 28 and charged with committing fraud in contravention of Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 or alternatively for allegedly destroying or opening a pack of ballot papers without authority in contravention of Section 85 of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.

In summary, Mwayera said that the ruling by the magistrates court to deny Komichi were valid as the accused was likely to interfere with state witnesses or potential witnesses at the expense of course of justice.

“Given the election mode in which the case took place there is clear signal in the ruling of the Magistrates Court that granting bail to the applicant was going to interfere with investigations or his release would disrupt peace and safety of the public,” she said.

Mwayera added that the application by Komichi was an appeal against bail ruling and not an application for bail at the High Court.

Komichi is due to appear again in Magistrates Court for trial on August 14.

Prosecutors allege that Komichi approached the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on July 25 2013 and handed the elections management body an envelope containing a stray ballot paper cast in his MDC-T party’s favour by Constable Mugove Chiginya stationed at the Zimbabwe Republic Police General Headquarters’ transport administration section to support his party’s claims that ZEC rigged the July 14-15 Special Voting process in Zanu (PF)’s favour.

Komichi had allegedly found the sealed envelope dumped in a dust-bin at a local hotel in the capital.

However, the prosecutors charged that the state proved through examining Chiginya’s fingers using an Ultra Violet Light detector that the police officer had failed to cast his vote during the chaotic Special Voting process, contrary to Komichi’s testimony to ZEC.

Komichi was being represented by his lawyers Andrew Makoni of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners and Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners.

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