Komichi trial: Police officer contradicts ZEC

The trial of MDC-T Deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi, resumed today with the cross examining of State witness Mugove Chiginya, a police officer who was the owner of the ballot papers allegedly handed over to the accused by a person who had picked them from a dustbin at a Harare Hotel.

MDC-T Deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi
MDC-T Deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi

Komichi, who was arrested in July, is facing charges of contravening Section 85 of the Electoral Act.

Allegations are that in July he misrepresented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that he had picked up a sealed tamper-proof envelope with a special vote ballot paper from a dustbin. Komichi further alleged that he had opened it out of curiosity and discovered that there were ballot papers with votes in his party's favour.

According to the State, Komichi's conduct was in violation of the country's electoral laws.

Speaking during cross examination from Komichi's lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, Chiginya refuted information contained in a ZEC register that he was supposed to cast his vote in Southerton.

Last week, Muchadehama, while cross examining ZEC's Chief Legal Officer, Shamiso Chahuruva, accused ZEC and the Registrar General of voters of deliberately deleting voters from the voters' roll and changing their constituencies.

Muchadehama said "Chiginya was registered in Mbare and so was supposed to vote in Mbare yet the grey tamper proof envelope said that he was supposed to vote in Southerton" and Chahuruva answered in the affirmative.

When asked that the "khaki envelope in which the ballot papers where reflected his constituency as Harare East" said that the allegation was correct.

Today, Chiginya said that he had never, at any time reflected Harare East as his constituency as well. "I did not sign any form to reflect Harare East as my constituency. I only reflected Mbare," said Chiginya.

Chiginya however said he could not comment whether voters' name were being deleted in the voters' roll as he did not participate in the special voting process. His narration however cemented claims that the process was chaotic.

"I was supposed to cast my vote at Mt Pleasant Hall but I failed to do that on the first day and left the place at 2100 hours and the next day, I returned back and was unable to cast my vote again. On that day, I left the place at around 0200 hours," said Chiginya.

He said he did not receive an explanation as to why he had not been able to vote.

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