Komichi’s bid for freedom flops
Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
MDC-Alliance vice president Morgan Komichi’s bid for freedom from charges of contravening the Electoral Act after he staged a sideshow during the announcement of Presidential election results at the National Results Centre last year, hit a snag yesterday after his application for discharge was thrown out.
In dismissing the application, magistrate Ms Ruramai Chitumbura ruled that Komichi had a case to answer and should be put to his defence.
She said the State led by Mr Michael Reza had managed to prove a prima facie case against him.
“In this case, the announcement of results had commenced and ZEC had taken a break before announcing the rest of the results,” said Ms Chitumbura.
“It, therefore, means that the proceedings had not yet ended and the accused had, therefore, interrupted, disturbed or disrupted proceedings.”
Komichi, through his lawyer Mr Obey Shava, had made an application for discharge at the close of the State case, arguing that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.
In response, Mr Reza opposed the application for lack of merit. He argued that Komichi had a case to answer and should be put to his defence.
After hearing submissions from both parties, the court concurred with the State and dismissed Komichi’s application.
The matter was remanded to February 6 for continuation of trial. Allegations are that on August 2, Komichi was at Harare International Conference Centre waiting for the announcement of the results of the July 30 polls by ZEC.
During a break, Komichi went to the podium reserved for ZEC commissioners and announced that MDC-Alliance was disputing the election results, it is alleged.
Meanwhile, MDC-Alliance councillor for Mabvuku Ward 21 Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwe, who was arrested following the recent violent protests in Harare, was yesterday cleared of any wrongdoing.
Through his lawyer Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, Kufahakutizwe successfully applied for discharge at the close of the State case.
In granting the application, magistrate Mrs Victoria Mashamba ruled that the State had failed to provide sufficient evidence linking Kufahakutizwe to the case.