The MDC’s position that the just ended elections were not credible, free and fair was further strengthened in court today in the trial of Senator Morgen Komichi after it emerged that there were serious irregularities in the special voting exercise.
Senator Komichi is the MDC deputy national chairperson who is facing false charges of contravening the Electoral Act.
The confusion which marred the special voting and harmonised elections continued to emerge after it was exposed at the Harare Magistrares’ Courts that Mugove Chiginya did not vote in the local council, parliamentary and presidential elections during the special vote period despite his ballot papers showing that he had cast his vote.
The ballot papers were presented in court as part of the exhibit.
Chiginya is a police officer based at Mbare Police Station and his ballot papers were found dumped in a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre which was the command center of ZEC.
These details were revealed at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts during the cross examination of Utoile Silaigwana, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), deputy chief elections officer by the defence counsel, Alec Muchadehama.
Senator Komichi was arrested last month after handing over ballot papers belonging to Chiginya to senior ZEC officials.
It emerged in court today that although Chiginya’s ballot papers were delivered to Mt Pleasant Hall polling station where the special voting exercise was taking place on 14 and 15 July, the police officer did not cast his vote although the ballot papers presented in court showed that he had voted.
It further emerged in court that the special voting exercise was shambolic as there was no voters’ roll but a voter register, making the voting process highly porous as people including those not on the voters’ roll being able to vote more than once.
Silaigwana failed to explain why ZEC had failed to stop the chaos claiming that he was not well versed with most of the questions asked by the defence counsel.
Meanwhile, Muchadehama had to seek the assistance of the trial magistrate, Tendai Mahwe for Senator Komichi to be removed from leg shackles during the trial proceedings. Since the start of the trial on Tuesday, Senator Komichi has been appearing in court in leg irons and would spend the whole day in such a state, a situation which restrained him during proceedings.