Bid for Komichi jail term: Law officer in no show

High Court Judge, Felistus Chatukuta, today postponed to January 29 the case in which the Prosecutor General's Office is seeking to have the community service term imposed on MDC-T Deputy National Chairperson Morgen Komichi reversed.

Morgen Komichi
Morgen Komichi

The Prosecutor General's Office contends that Komichi, who was convicted of electoral fraud in November last year, should be slapped with a jail term as his offence was a serious one.

Today's postponement came following the absence of Chief Law Officer, Michael Mugabe, who is appearing for the State in the matter.

Komichi was found guilty of electoral fraud in November last year and sentenced to 350 hours of community service by the Harare Magistrate, Tendai Mahwe.

Initially, he was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for fraud coupled with another 10 months for contravening Section 85(1) (e) of the Electoral Act.

The eight months were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while the remaining 10 months were set aside on condition that he performs 350 hours of community service.

The State however contended that the sentence was too lenient and filed an appeal with the High Court.

Allegations against Komichi were 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 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 State successfully argued that Komichi had acted with the intention of discrediting ZEC and cause confusion over the handling of electoral processes.

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