ZEC accused of triviality

The trial of MDC-T Deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi, continued today with the cross examination of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Deputy Director of Public Relations, Tendai Pamire, Komichi, who was arrested in July, is facing a charge of contravening Section 85 of the Electoral Act.

Allegations against Komichi are that in July, he misrepresented to ZEC that he had picked 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 claimed that an unnamed person informed him he had picked 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. During cross examination by Komichi’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, Pamire accused Komichi of resisting to reveal the person who had handed him the stray ballot papers, even after ZEC Chairperson, Rita Makarau, had insisted that he should reveal the identity of the individual.

“The accused simply said that he would not disclose the person who gave him the ballots and there was no further questioning except to ask him why he would not reveal the name of the person,” said Pamire.

He said that Komichi failed to explain to ZEC why the person who gave him the ballot papers had not chosen to report the issue to the police or ZEC itself.

“Mister Komichi did not explain why the person who picked those ballots chose to report to him about this matter,” said Pamire.

This prompted Muchadehama to accuse ZEC of being pre-occupied with why Komichi was not disclosing his source rather than investigating how the ballot papers ended up in the bin.

Said Muchadehama: “So you mean to say that the Commission was more worried about why accused was not disclosing the person who gave him the ballot papers?”

In his submission, Pamire said it was unfair for Muchadehama to ask him that question. “I think it’s unfair for Mister Muchadehama to ask me about the thinking of the commission when the commission is there to answer for itself,” said Pamire.

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