Komichi’s lawyer accuses ZEC, RG’s office

The defense counsel for MDC-T deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi, who is facing charges of electoral fraud today accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Registrar General of deliberately deleting voters from the voters’ roll and changing their constituencies.

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

Allegations against Komichi are that in July, he misrepresented to ZEC that he had picked up a sealed tamper-proof envelope with a special vote ballot paper from a dust bin at a Harare hotel.

He allegedly approached ZEC’s command centre and alleged that an unnamed person informed him he had picked up the envelope from a dustbin. Komichi further alleged that he had opened it out of curiosity and discovered that there were ballot papers whose votes were cast in his party’s favour.

According to the State, Komichi’s conduct was in violation of the country’s electoral laws. The ballot papers belonged to one Constable Mugove Chiginya.

Komichi’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, made the allegation while cross examining ZEC’s Chief Legal Officer, Shamiso Chahuruva.

“I suggest to you that ZEC in connivance with the RG’s office was deliberately deleting voters from the voters’ roll and changing constituencies and this is why there was confusion about the constituencies,” said Muchadehama.

Chahuruva however denied the allegations saying that “no such thing ever happened”. She however admitted that there was confusion among voters over the issue of constituencies although she said the blame could not be put on ZEC or the voters.

“Voters are given a slip which indicates the constituency where they are supposed to vote but many a time the voters would pitch up at polling stations in constituencies where they were not registered and would be advised to go to their constituencies.

“Voters should check their registration slips to see where they are registered to vote. I do not think the fault can be attributed either to voters or ZEC because the voters have a role to play as well,” said Chahuruva.

She denied claims by Muchadehama that some people who voted in 2008 had failed to find their names in the voters’ roll in the run up to the July 31 elections.

The MDC-T raised concern over the issue ahead of the July 31 elections and at one time Vice President, Joyce Mujuru failed to find her name as well as those of other villagers in her constituency in the voters’ roll.

With regards to the special vote, Chahuruva, responding to a question from Muchadehama, conceded that the process was chaotic.

Said Muchadehama: “Mugove 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.”

Chahuruva answered in the affirmative and when asked that the “khaki envelope in which the ballot papers where reflected his constituency as Harare East” said that the allegation was correct.

She said that the special ballot paper showed that the votes were cast in favour of the MDC-T.

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