Komichi trial: ZEC official says clueless on origins of stray ballots

The trial of MDC-T national Chairman, Morgan Komichi, continued today with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Chief Inspector, Jane Chigiji saying the stray ballots that were handed over to the accused after having been picked from a dustbin could not have been issued by the commission.

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 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.

The ballot papers belonged to a police officer identified as Mugove Chiginya. According to the State, Komichi’s conduct was in violation of the country’s electoral laws.

Chigiji, during cross examination by Komichi’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said the ink that was used to write on the tamper proof envelope that was brought to ZEC by Komichi was different from the one used by the commission.

“The envelope is similar to the ones which we were using at ZE. We used felt pens to write on the envelopes but this one was marked with an ordinary pen so I cannot tell this court that it is from ZEC,” said Chigiji.

She said that there was no evidence to suggest the envelope was from ZEC apart from it inscribed with the commission’s name.

Chigiji refuted Chiginya’s testimony in court when she said that some voters did not know where they were registered to vote. Last week, Chiginya told the court that he was registered to vote in Mount Pleasant during the special voting process.

She said that there were no reports of missing envelopes that were made before the stray ballots that were handed over to Komichi were discovered.

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