THE chief witness in the case of MDC deputy president Morgen Komichi, who is being accused of disrupting the announcement of the presidential results last year, told the court yesterday that he reported an offence that he did not see being committed.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) acting chief election officer Utoile Silaigwana, the chief State witness, told Harare magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura that he received a phone call from someone telling him of the disturbances that occurred during a break.
Responding to Komichi’s lawyer Obey Shava, Silaigwana said he reported the case to the police despite him not witnessing the commission of the offence.
“Confirm you are the one who reported the matter to the police?” Shava asked.
“Yes,” Silaigwana replied.
“We are here because of the report?” Shava further asked.
“Yes,” Silaigwana again responded.
“Please confirm that you did not see the accused committing the offence,” Shava said.
“Yes,” replied the Zec acting chief elections officer.
Shava, who sought to file his application for discharge at the close of the State case, will now submit his application on January 14 and the State is expected to respond on January 18. The court will provide a ruling on January 21.
Three State witnesses, who include Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation producer Phineas Gutu, investigation officer Patrick Siyakwimbi and Zec security officer Concree Chivinda gave conflicting testimonies.
Siyakwimbi told the magistrate that he did not witness the commission of the offence, but only saw a Zanu PF female member shouting at Komichi who was walking away from the room.
Gutu said he only witnessed the incident from the outside broadcasting van which was providing live coverage of the presidential election results announcement. While Chivinda said Komichi committed the offence at around 10pm, other witnesses said it was around 11pm.
Allegations are that on August 2, 2018, Komichi was at Harare International Conference Centre where Zec was announcing the July 30 presidential election results.
After a break, Komichi went to the podium reserved for commissioners announcing the results, took the microphone and began to announce what he called the MDC Alliance’s rejection of the results.
Komichi claimed that Zec had not followed due process as MDC Alliance agents had not been asked to verify the results. The State alleges he was stopped by the police from making further announcements and was later arrested.