ZEC employee gives conflicting evidence in Komichi trial

The trial of MDC-T Deputy National Chairman, Morgan Komichi resumed at the Harare Magistrates’ Court today, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Deputy Director of Public Relations, Tendai Pamire, disclosing that his police statement following Komichi’s arrest had both facts and hearsay.

Komichi, who was arrested in July, is facing charges of contravening Section 85 of the Electoral Act and has spent more than a month.

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 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.

This came during cross examination during which Komichi’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, made an observation that Pamire’s evidence in court was in direct contradiction to his police statement.

Pamire said some of the information contained in his police statement was from discussions at the ZEC Command Centre where Komichi had presented the stray ballots.

In his police statement, Pamire said the National Assembly ballot belonged to Harare East but told the court that he did not handle the ballots.

He later went on to tell the court that he compiled his statement basing on what he had saw and what he had heard from other people from ZEC.

Pamire further told the court that he did not write down the serial numbers of the ballots and was not aware of the candidates listed on the ballots since he did not handle the papers.

He however said that he had noted down the serial number of the presidential ballot box which was 000047991.

On the whereabouts of the notebook, he however said he had thrown it away.

This prompted Muchadehama to suspect that Pamire was giving false evidence before the court.

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