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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
electoral fraud trial set to resume Tuesday
Nomalanga Moyo, SW Radio Africa
September 13, 2013
The trial of
MDC-T chief polling agent Morgan Komichi, who is facing electoral
fraud charges, will continue Tuesday with his lawyers continuing
to quiz Electoral Commission (ZEC) official Tendai Pamire.
Alec Muchadehama said indications were that about 15 witnesses will
take to the stand before the court reaches a verdict.
arrested on July 28th, just
two days before the polls and, since then, has been held at
Chikurubi Remand Prison, with several bail pleas turned down.
lawyers say the MDC-T agent responded to a tip off about an envelope
containing a ballot paper that had been dumped in a dustbin located
at the Special Vote processing centre.
the contents, Komichi submitted the envelope to ZEC which however
queried how he had acquired the envelope and accused him of tampering
with the ballots.
under cross-examination, Pamire said he could not recall details
concerning the ballot papers allegedly found in Komichi’s
he did not handle the ballots, and neither took a close look at
them or checked whether or not they were marked.
reminded Pamire that he had said in a statement to the police that
there were three ballot papers marked in favour of MDC-T, the ZEC
official said it was merely a declaration of what had transpired
during a meeting at ZEC. The lawyer accused Pamire of displaying
“a faulty memory”.
the charges against him, with the MDC-T party saying his arrest
and detention is part of a wider onslaught against its members by
In a statement
Monday, the party said it notes, “with concern the incarceration
of its members and officials including national deputy chairman
continued incarceration and detention is part of the ongoing harassment
of MDC members and officials by the state agents using the criminal
justice system,” the MDC-T said.
Human Rights NGO Forum director Abel Chikomo’s wait for
justice continues after his trial was postponed from Monday to October
The State accuses
Chikomo of conducting a survey on transitional justice without first
being registered under the country’s Private
The state further
alleges that Chikomo instructed two researchers to unlawfully obtain
people’s recommendations on the preferred transitional justice
mechanism for Zimbabwe.
which Chikomo denies, have been on and off since February 2011,
with the State at one point withdrawing the summons against him.
Over the past
two years Chikomo has been asked to report to the police several
times and interrogated and on his organisation’s activities.
not speak to SW Radio Africa about his trial but the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights last week said the case was “yet another
official harassment of civic organisations and human rights defenders.”
rights activists who have been persecuted by the State through the
judicial system include Jestina Mukoko, director of campaign group
case is yet to be concluded, was arrested in March and similarly
accused of operating an “unregistered” and “unlawful”
Also in March,
prominent rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was handcuffed and detained
for more than a week after she asked to see a warrant police officers
were using to search her clients’ premises. Mtetwa was accused
of “obstructing or defeating the course of justice”,
and is facing a drawn-out court process in what analysts say is
a ploy by the Zanu-PF-aligned judiciary to silence critics.
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