We did not see Komichi tamper with ballot: Zec

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HARARE – Morgen Komichi may not have opened the ballot papers that he presented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), a senior commission spokesperson said yesterday.

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.

Zec chief legal officer Shamiso Chahuruva said that she did not see Komichi opening the grey tamper proof envelope that he is alleged to have unsealed.

“No one saw the accused (Komichi) opening the grey tamper proof envelope or any other envelope,” Chahuruva told the court.

She also indicated that no one saw Komichi taking the ballots from Zec’s custody as had earlier averred that he might have stolen them.

Chahuruva said when Komichi approached the commission, he wanted them to look into the matter of the ballot papers and nothing specific.

Mugove Chiginya, the cop whose ballot was found by Komichi, yesterday denied ever having cast his vote in the special voting exercise.

Chiginya, who was the fifth witness in the trial, said he did not get a chance to vote because his name was not called out on July 14 and 15.

“I left Mount Pleasant polling station around 2100 hours on July 15 after my name was not called out,” Chiginya said. “The following morning I returned to Mount Pleasant but also I could not vote. I later surrendered my SV2 form to two police officers who were collecting the forms.”

According to Muchadehama, Chiginya could vote in Mbare where is a registered voter as well as Southerton, Harare East and Harare constituencies.

Chiginya insisted that he was a registered voter in the Mbare constituency and not in the multiple constituencies that appeared in the ballot presented to Zec by Komichi.

He also professed ignorance as to how the ballot papers found their way into the bin when he did not participate during special voting.

Under cross examination by Komichi’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama, Chiginya said he does not know how he had been registered in the Harare East Constituency.

Chiginya told the court that he was not given a reason why his name was not called out despite having successfully applied for the special vote.

He also told the court that he was later picked up at Rhodesville Police Station and taken to Harare Central Police Station where he was quizzed on whether he had voted in the special voting exercise.

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