MDC-T chief elections agent Morgen Komichi’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama yesterday accused the State’s sixth witness, Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge, of receiving instructions from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to nail down his client, who is facing charges of contravening the country’s electoral laws.
Komichi was arrested on July 28 on allegations of misrepresenting to Zec that he had “picked up” from a dustbin, a sealed tamper-proof envelope with a special vote ballot paper at the Harare International Conference Centre.
“In fact, these charges were formulated by Zec and yourself, seated together, conniving against the accused person. Zec was actually telling you what to do and what charges to prefer against the accused person,” Muchadehama said, while cross-examining
Makedenge, who is the investigating officer in the matter.
Although Makedenge disputed the assertions, Muchadehama argued that it did not make sense that a senior officer from the Law and Order section — which deals with serious issues including those of a political nature — should be assigned to investigate “a simple case of fraud”.
“This is a simple case of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act. These are simple charges. Why get a whole chief superintendent from CID to investigate a simple matter?” Muchadehama queried.
Makedenge said the matter was referred to CID Law and Order as an “internal administrative issue”, adding that such referrals were made at the discretion of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who could allocate anyone to investigate a criminal matter.
He said the only reason why he was assigned to deal with the case was that he was a serving member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
At one time, presiding magistrate Tendai Mahwe had to intervene and order Makedenge to give more specific answers and avoid evading questions and giving long and winding answers.
“Can you answer the questions in as much a direct way as possible so that you don’t go round in circles?” Mahwe ordered Makedenge.
This was after Muchadehama had complained about the manner in which Makedenge was responding.
“Don’t speak like a politician. Just answer my questions,” Muchadehama said.