Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Komichi to be charged over stray ballot paper
29/07/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

POLICE have vowed to press criminal charges against MDC-T deputy chairman Morgan Komichi who was arrested Sunday after he produced a stray ballot paper cast in his party’s favour to back claims of vote rigging by his party.

Speaking during a press briefing at the Police General Headquarters the same day, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba insisted that Komichi, who is deputy minister of Transport, would remain their prime suspect until he reveals the source of the document.

Komichi, who is also the MDC-T’s elections chief, last week, took the ballot paper to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), claiming it was handed to his party by a party sympathiser who preferred to remain anonymous.

He claimed the document was picked from a dust bin at the Harare International Conference Centre where ZEC has established its national command centre.

The MDC-T further claims it is in possession of “several” more stray ballot papers dumped after the July 14-15 special voting exercise by some members of the uniformed forces and ZEC personnel.

ZEC has since denied being responsible for any leaks and further questioned the credibility of the MDC-T official’s claims.

But police said they were taking the matter seriously as it had the potential dent the credibility of the July 31 harmonised election, which has already generated a lot of controversy.

“The police would like to establish how the so-called special ballot paper ends up in a dustbin and the whereabouts of the rest of the alleged lost envelops," Charamba said.

“Our preliminary investigations have since established that the said police officer whose special ballot paper was allegedly found in the dust bin never cast his vote.

“He was scientifically tested by ZEC officials to this effect and a sworn affidavit statement has since been obtained from the police officer and the ZEC official who conducted the ultra vialate light test.

“In this regard,” Charamba continued, “Mr Komichi … is assisting police with investigations so that he reveals the identity of the person who gave him the ballot paper with a view of getting to the bottom of this matter.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to urge Zimbabweans to desist from interfering with the electoral process with a view to discrediting the harmonised elections.

“Political parties should therefore be warned that the Zimbabwe Republic Police shall arrest all individuals who stage manage events and or occurrences in order to portray that the obtaining environment is not conducive for holding free and fair elections. As Zimbabwe Republic Police, we are determined to see the fruition of a free and fair elections.”

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