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chief polling agent to remain in custody until August 14th
Moyo, SW Radio Africa
View this article
here on the SW Radio Africa website
Morgan Tsvangirai’s polling officer Morgan Komichi will not
be able to vote Wednesday, after he was denied bail in a case in
which he exposed irregularities in the way the Electoral
Commission handled the Special Vote.
lawyers applied for bail Monday but in her ruling Tuesday, Harare
Magistrate Anita Tshuma dismissed the application, arguing that
police needed time to complete their investigations.
remain in custody until his next court appearance on August 14th,
unless his lawyers decide to appeal the decision at the High Court.
Tarisai Mutangi told SW Radio Africa that the magistrate based her
ruling on the State’s case that Komichi would interfere with
ruled that the matter of was of great public interest as we are
on the verge of an important election. She added that since Komichi’s
so-called accomplices were still at large, he was likely to interfere
with police investigations if released,” Mutangi said.
his team will be meeting to decide on the way forward in light of
the ruling, which he said violated Komichi’s rights.
clearly states that anyone who appears in court facing criminal
charges is entitled to immediate bail unless the State can prove
that the ends of justice will not be met if that person is granted
failed to provide any evidence to support their argument that Komichi
would either abscond or interfere with witnesses or commit a similar
be discussing our options including an appeal. We feel that this
is a great inconvenience not only to Komichi but also to the MDC-T
party whose key officer has been taken out of the elections context
in very dubious circumstances.”
bail setback, Mutangi said Komichi was taking his incarceration
“in his stride, buoyed by support from his family and colleagues
in the MDC-T.”
is also the MDC-T deputy minister of transport, is accused of fraudulently
acquiring and tampering with an envelope containing ballot papers.
His party says
Komichi responded to an anonymous tip-off that some ballots had
been retrieved from a dustbin located at the Harare International
Conference Centre, which was being used as a Special Vote processing
passed the ballots on to ZEC, which admitted that the papers were
authentic. However, on Sunday ZEC complained to the police about
the credibility of Komichi’s version of how he got the ballots,
leading to the arrest.
On Monday, MDC-T
spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said it was not possible for Komichi
to reveal details of the anonymous source. The police have already
said “as long as he refuses to disclose the identity of this
person, he becomes the prime suspect.”
Both the MDC-T
and the defence team say the arrest is a classic case of “shooting
the messenger”, and is meant to deflect attention from the
gross electoral irregularities that Komichi exposed.
to be the complainant in this matter and ZEC must be the one in
the dock explaining how crucial voting material was found in a dustbin
outside of their Command Centre,” defence lawyer Makoni told
the court Monday.
were echoed by both Mwonzora and MDC-T national organising secretary
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