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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
August 28, 2013
Commission (Zec) deputy chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana
yesterday said he never received any report from his officers indicating
there were some ballots missing
after the July 14 and 15 special voting.
Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe while testifying in a case in which
MDC–T deputy national chairman Morgen Komichi is on trial
for allegedly being found in possession of a ballot paper in violation
of the country’s electoral laws.
The trial opened
yesterday with Silaigwana as the first witness.
The Zec official
said he was unsure if any report of missing ballots was ever made.
Komichi is facing
charges of fraud and contravening Section 85 of the Electoral
Act. He has pleaded not guilty.
cross-examination by Komichi’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, Silaigwana
said: “I wouldn’t know whether or not they were genuine
special vote ballot papers.”
He said the
ballots might not have reached the polling station as they did not
have the polling officer’s secret mark.
the person who was in charge of the special vote was the one in
a position to know the booklets from which those particular ballots
had been extracted.
The deputy chief
elections officer, who told the court he was employed by the Zimbabwe
National Army prior to joining Zec, said election management was
a relatively new field to him and he still had a lot to learn.
He told the
court that after voting, ballot papers would be given back to Zec
officials who retained them as election residue and seal them. Prior
to the cross–examination, Silaigwana, who was being led by
law officer Michael Mugabe, explained to the court the circumstances
surrounding the discovery of the alleged offence.
against Komichi are that he misrepresented to Zec that he had picked
a sealed tamper-proof envelope with a special vote ballot paper
from a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre which
housed Zec’s command centre.
approached Zec and claimed that an unnamed person informed him that
they had picked an envelope from a dustbin.
alleged that he had opened it out of curiosity and discovered that
there were ballot papers.
Earlier in yesterday’s
proceedings, Muchadehama had made an application for the two charges
to be merged into one as the facts on both charges were similar,
but the application was dismissed.
The trial continues
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