ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Friday 17 August 2018 charged Morgen Komichi, the National Chairperson of the MDC Alliance party with violating the country’s electoral laws after he allegedly interrupted the 2018 harmonised election proceedings conducted by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Komichi, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) was charged with contravening section 186 of the Electoral Act after he allegedly interrupted, obstructed and disturbed proceedings related to the announcement of the results of the 2018 harmonised elections on Thursday 02 August 2018 at the ZEC Command Centre in Harare.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers claimed that Komichi interrupted the electoral process by uttering a statement which reads; “I did not sign those results, so the results are fake. The results have just been printed and they have not been verified by the polling agents and we are the polling agents, we have not done that. The polling agents verified the results from… The presidential results are constituency based results and the constituency results have not been announced and not verified. We held a meeting today with the CEO and we agreed on the process and the process was not followed. Thank you very much we have our position.”
Komichi, who is detained at the Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station, now awaits to appear in court for formal remand proceedings.
Meanwhile, ZRP Chief Superintendent Jealous Nyabasa on Friday 17 August 2018 continued dodging questions posed by lawyers representing Tendai Biti, a human rights lawyer and one of the leaders of the MDC Alliance party as they continued to grill the law enforcement agent to prove that Biti was unlawfully seized from Zambia and that he is improperly before the court.
Nyabasa punctuated most of his responses to questions posed by Beatrice Mtetwa, one of Biti’s lawyers, by stating that “I have no comment, Your Worship”.
Mtetwa told Harare Magistrate Francis Mapfumo that the ZRP had an intention to mislead the nation by posting a message on social media claiming that Biti was on the run and yet they had not even advised his lawyers who had enquired from the law enforcement agents to confirm if they were after the human rights lawyer to which they denied.
Biti was arrested last week in Zambia and charged with contravening section 66 (A) (1) of the Electoral Act for allegedly announcing unofficial presidential results for the 2018 harmonised Elections and with committing public violence as defined in section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The opposition party leader is challenging his remand and the court’s jurisdiction saying he is improperly appearing before the court since he was abducted from Zambia by Zimbabwe authorities in defiance of a lawful High Court order issued in the neighbouring southern African country.
Biti returns to court on Monday 20 August 2018, where his lawyers will continue cross examining Nyabasa.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights