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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Court to hear Komichi’s freedom bid over stray ballot papers
as magistrate sets Tsunga’s trial date
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
August 07, 2013
High Court Judge
Justice Hlekani Mwayera will on Thursday 8 August 2013 hear an application
filed by Morgan Komichi, the chief election agent for MDC-T leader
Morgan Tsvangirai in the just ended harmonised
elections and the party’s deputy national chairperson,
who has been detained in prison for more than one week.
outgoing Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure
Development was arrested on Sunday 28 July 2013 and charged with
committing fraud in contravention of Section 136 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 or alternatively
for allegedly destroying or opening a pack of ballot papers without
authority in contravention of Section 85 of the Electoral
Act Chapter 2:13.
Justice Mwayera on Wednesday
7 August 2013 deferred the bail hearing to Thursday 8 August 2013
after State prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba requested for more time to
file the State’s response to the bail application, which was
initially set for determination on Tuesday 6 August 2013.
Andrew Makoni of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners
and Dr Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo & Mutangi Legal Practitioners
filed the bail appeal in the High Court after the MDC-T deputy chairperson
was denied bail at the Harare Magistrates Court early last week.
Prosecutors allege that
Komichi approached the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on 25
July 2013 and handed the elections management body an envelope containing
a stray ballot paper cast in his MDC-T party’s favour by Constable
Mugove Chiginya stationed at the Zimbabwe Republic Police General
Headquarters’ transport administration section to support
his party’s claims that ZEC rigged the Special Voting process
in Zanu-PF’s favour.
However, the prosecutors
charged that the State proved through examining Chiginya’s
fingers using an Ultra Violet light detector that the police officer
had failed to cast his vote during the chaotic Special Voting process
conducted on 14 and 15 July 2013, contrary to Komichi’s testimony
Komichi, the prosecutors
claimed committed fraud as he allegedly took, opened, destroyed
or otherwise interfered with a pack of ballot papers in which he
alleged were allocated to Chiginya by ZEC for use during the Special
Meanwhile, Mutare Magistrate
Charles Murove has set September 3, 2013 as the trial date for Arnold
Tsunga, the MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect for Dangamvura-Chikanga
Tsunga was arrested on
19 July 2013 together with 49 other MDC-T supporters and charged
with committing criminal nuisance in contravention of Section 46
(2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The 50 MDC-T supporters
were arrested while exercising their political rights to association
and expression after conducting a door to door political campaign
on the eve of the harmonised elections.
State prosecutor Nelson
Makunyire alleged that Tsunga and his campaign team held an “unauthorized”
vehicle procession in Mutare’s Dangamvura suburb during which
they sung and chanted MDC-T slogans thereby interfering with the
ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public, a charge
which they deny.
Tinoziva Bere of Bere
Brothers Legal Practitioners, Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights and Passmore Nyakureba on Maunga Maanda Legal Practitioners
are representing the 50 MDC-T supporters.
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