HARARE – MDC chief election officer Morgen Komichi has been denied bail for the fourth time by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
Komichi is accused of fraud and contravening the Electoral Act, but denies the charge.
He was arrested after he allegedly presented to Zec, a ballot paper that had been found in a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the electoral body’s command centre.
Komichi had applied for bail under changed circumstances. However, Mahwe ruled that the State had a strong case against him and rejected his fresh application.
State prosecutor Michael Mugabe told the court that the evidence led so far by the three State witnesses has not diluted the State case.
“If admitted to bail after the witnesses’ evidence, the State believes that this will lead the accused person (Komichi ) to abscond,” Mugabe said. “At this stage it will be improper to admit him to bail.”
Mahwe concurred with the State that it would not be in the best interest of justice to grant Komichi bail as he was likely to abscond his trial.
The trial continues with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s chief legal officer Shamiso Chahuruva saying that she cannot prove if Komichi had opened the grey envelope that contained the ballot papers.
Chahuruva, who was being cross-examined by Alec Muchadehama, said that she cannot speak on behalf of the person who gave Komichi the ballot papers.
“I am not able to say whether the person who gave Mr Komichi the packet had opened it, however, in the meeting he said that the packet was sealed and he had opened it out of curiosity,” Chahuruva said.
Muchadehama went on to suggest that Chahuruva and the commission were lying and building stories against Komichi.