ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) director of polling logistics Japhet Murenje yesterday told a Harare magistrate that the examination he carried out on police officer Mugove Chiginya proved that the latter did not cast his ballot during the special vote.
BY SENIOR REPORTER
Testifying in the case in which MDC-T deputy national chairman Morgan Komichi was allegedly found in possession of Chiginya’s ballots in contravention of the Electoral Act, Murenje said he examined the police officer’s finger using an ultra-violet light detector and no traces of voting ink were detected.
Chiginya’s finger was examined on July 26 and two days later, Komichi was arrested by police at his Bluff Hill home.
Another State witness, Jane Pamhidzai Chigiji, who was the special voting team leader, told presiding magistrate Tendai Mahwe that it was Komichi who had told the commission that he opened the tamper–proof envelope out of curiosity.
“He told the meeting he had opened the envelope. He said it was sealed when he received it, but opened it out of curiosity,” she said, adding that the accused refused to disclose who had given him the envelope.
She said the envelope was called tamperproof because once it was opened, it could not be resealed.
When prosecutor Michael Mugabe produced the envelope and its contents as exhibits, defence counsel Alec Muchadehama objected arguing that Chigiji was not the proper witness through which the exhibits could be produced.
“We are not even sure that she touched these documents before today. She has not even identified the documents properly,” he said.
Mahwe, however, overruled the objection on the basis that the production of the exhibits had not been disputed.
Allegations against Komichi are that on July 25 at the Harare International Conference Centre, he approached Zec and presented a ballot envelope which he said had been picked up from a rubbish bin outside the Command Centre.
He is said to have alleged that Zec was destroying ballot papers of members of the uniformed forces who voted for MDC–T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his party.