Komichi trial exposes Zec

THE ongoing trial of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s chief elections agent Morgan Komichi has exposed gross inadequacies within the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the shambolic nature of the country’s voters’ roll.

REPORT BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

It emerged during the trial yesterday that the police officer whose ballot papers were allegedly picked up from a rubbish bin at a Harare hotel was actually registered in four different constituencies and could have easily voted four times.

The trial is centred on ballot papers that were allegedly picked up from a dustbin by an unidentified person and given to Komichi before the latter submitted them to Zec. The ballot papers were supposed to be used by one Constable Mugove Chiginya during the special voting exercise conducted on July 14 and 15.

In a statement that he made to the police which was produced in court yesterday, Chiginya indicated that he was registered as a voter in Mbare constituency.

But the envelopes from which his ballots were retrieved showed that he was also registered in Southerton, Harare and Harare East.

Part of a register used at a polling station to cancel off names of police officers who would have voted, which was also produced in court, confirmed that Chiginya was registered in Southerton.

The envelope marked Mbare indicated that Mugove had voted in Ward 9, but Komichi’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama said there was no Ward 9 in Mbare. He said Ward 9 was in Harare East.

Questioned about these discrepancies during cross–examination, Zec deputy chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana — who is a State witness — said he was unable to comment on that issue.

Muchadehama said such discrepancies proved that the special vote polls were chaotic.

“This is typical of what Zec was doing in this election, registering people in constituencies they did not reside in, sending ballots to wards that did not belong to them and having phantom voters to vote on behalf of people that would not have voted,” Muchadehama said. “I put it to you that this is more than confusion. It is chaos at its worst.”

Zec, he said, wanted Chiginya to vote in a ward in Harare East instead of in Mbare where he was registered.

Muchadehama said his client had told Zec that there were many other envelops in the same dustbin and the reason why Komichi did not disclose the person’s name was because he knew the electoral body would get that person arrested instead of investigating the case. The trial continues today.

24 Responses to Komichi trial exposes Zec

  1. Mushungurudzi Bhunu August 30, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    And some old guy claims to have been freely and fairly elected. What a circus!

    • Rombe August 30, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      The allegations that the voter’s name appeared several times in different constituencies is not any issue. The Zimbabwe electoral system has adequate safeguards to prevent multi-voting because of indelible ink. The really issue is how an mdc official managed to possess special vote ballot-papers belonging to a particular voter?

      • UHURU August 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

        it z an issue coz y n hw wld sm1 be registered in 4 different places and hw certain r we tht these “safegaurds” tht u claim wld b effective wn the same system failed to undertake a simple task like registering pipo the same system tht lost ballot papers hw credible z tht organisation. the only pipo to blame r ZEC

      • Mukorekore August 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

        You know that you are lying-.

      • simon August 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

        This is the biggest issue if multiplied by the number of “special voters” and constituencies. That ink easily washed away if you used detergents. It would need Ultra-violet detectors to prevent people voting many times. For your this was the case.

      • s shumba August 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        Uri rombe for sure. what kind of reasoning is this.
        didi you not read that the mdc official got the ballot papers from somebody who had picked them from a rubbish bin

      • Haruna August 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

        Uri rombe zveshuwa

    • bepa ravanhu August 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Mr Editor please give this report to Chidayausiku the so called Chief Justice

    • CHIRANDU August 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      I AGREE WITH YOU MY FRIEND.FACED WITH SUCH A SCENARIO HOW CAN YOU SAY ELECTION WERE CREDIBLE.MUCH TO OUR SURPRISE AN OLD MAN ACTUALLY SMILES SAYING “IM PRESIDENT….W DO NOT RIGG ELECTIONS BECAUSE WE ARE GROWN UP…”GOD HAVE MERCY ON HIM HE IS AN OLD MAN LITTLE HE KNOW

    • Zimbabweans August 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Guys Lets pray to The Living God Lord to show us the way forward, Lets ask our Lord God kuti if Zanu did win MDC should be punished for their refusal to accept what the people of Zimbabwe voted for and If Zanu Pf wins through stealing peoples votes lets pray for deaths of everyone who won by manipulating the will of the people starting from the councilors to the president. He is the Lord God who answers prayers. We can continue fighting one another but this is the time of prayer and ask God for what Zimbabwe stand for,
      Reply Report comment

  2. lion August 30, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    we also want to hear wat the other side is saying against Komichi. Don’t make it sound so easy for the defence.

  3. Diego Zhaba August 30, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    It’s unfortunate that the judiciary system and the partisan police force are behind all this. All this shows how flawed the electoral process was and justifies MDC-T’s position. You stole the election and why bother this man. All you are doing is further expose your incompetency – ZEC. Rita and team are a bunch of confused boot lickers. And forever history shall judge you. Free Komichi, he has no case to answer. Why kumutambudza netsvina dzenyu dzehuwori kudai. Munonyadzisa semunhu anofamba asina kupfeka.

    The system is just pathetic.

  4. magame August 30, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    The story highlights the chaotic nature of the elections.

  5. Itai August 30, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    chokwadi chavakubuda in their attempt to nail mdc

  6. Don Wezhira August 30, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Good pple, The actual facts of the matter will be established by the trial…lets not judge, after all the matter is sub judice for now. Labeling the judiciary may not be a wise act if yu stand accused …

  7. Dzvinyangoma August 30, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    What’s on trial here is not how the elections were conducted but that somebody opened a sealed ballot envelope without authority. The prosecution should add another charge of obstructing the course of justice. Why would Komichi think that disclosing the person who picked up the envelope and show ZEC the bin where the envelope was picked up from would result in that person being arrested? Newsday is obviously reporting from a biased position which is very clear.

  8. Don Wezhira August 30, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    @ DZVINYANGOMA, well explained, why are we silent on the composition of ZEC, where all parties were represented

  9. manyepo August 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I see this little paper gasping for breath. Biased reporting won’t bring much revenue.

  10. Dzvinyangoma August 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    No voting system in the world is 100% foolproof so let’s not be too harsh on ZEC. In Britain where they have had elections for centuries they still have electoral irregularities. The US has had electoral irregularities more prominently in 2000 but even in the last election as well.

    Muchadehama, if we go by how Newsday is covering the trial, is focusing on discrediting the electoral process whereas Komichi is charged with electoral fraud. Whether the policeman was registered in 4 wards or what, what’s clear here is somebody opened a sealed ballot, refused to identify the bin where he had said there was more and refused to identify the person whom he claimed handed him the envelope so s/he could show ZEC and the police the bin. This would have helped police with their investigations by starting from where the envelope is said to have been found.

    A question that also needs to be answered is, if the policeman is registered in 4 constituencies, did he vote in all 4? Did he vote at all? If he voted, are these ballot papers that Komichi allegedly found or was given the ones used? After all there are reports that they do not have the polling officer’s unique mark.

  11. Zimbabweans August 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Guys Lets pray to The Living God Lord to show us the way forward, Lets ask our Lord God kuti if Zanu did win MDC should be punished for their refusal to accept what the people of Zimbabwe voted for and If Zanu Pf wins through stealing peoples votes lets pray for deaths of everyone who won by manupulating the will of the people starting from the councilors to the president. He is the Lord God who answers prayers. We can continue fighting one another but this is the time of prayer and ask God for what Zimbabwe stand for,

  12. Zimbabweans August 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Guys Lets pray to The Living God Lord to show us the way forward, Lets ask our Lord God kuti if Zanu did win MDC should be punished for their refusal to accept what the people of Zimbabwe voted for and If Zanu Pf wins through stealing peoples votes lets pray for deaths of everyone who won by manipulating the will of the people starting from the councilors to the president. He is the Lord God who answers prayers. We can continue fighting one another but this is the time of prayer and ask God for what Zimbabwe stand for,

  13. David August 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    The fools at Zec think we are all not aware of how they conducted things. I was there at townhouse and there was deliberate chaos. How do you bring only 100 ballot papers and call out names with no loudspeaker for a crowd of more than 2000 people. Manipulation was in progress and they even went on to throw votes into bins. If it is not the case why did they refuse to produce the voters roll and electoral material later.

  14. nhamo dzinesu August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    ZEC is not a respondent here. The case in which they were was withdrawn. If someone is careless to have his papers everywhere, it does not mean that people should steal them. I believe Komichi is on trial here. Not ZEC. And Komichi has to prove that his possession, of the papers was not illegal as ZEC claims.

  15. John Mukatorike August 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    This is what is called poetic justice.ZEC wanted to fix Komichi and now ZEC has just fixed itself. Zvina Mwari mukati izvi!

© 2016 NewsDay Zimbabwe. All Rights Reserved.

DMMA logo