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Zimbabwe: MDC Alliance’s Morgan Komichi convicted, fined for contravening electoral law

Zimbabwe: MDC Alliance’s Morgan Komichi convicted, fined for contravening electoral law

STEVEN MAHWAI

HARARE – MDC Alliance Vice President Morgan Komichi – the party’s Chief Elections officer during the 2018 plebiscite, was Friday convicted and fined $200 for contravening the Electoral Act, which criminalises interrupting, obstructing or disturbing proceedings related to the announcement of election results.

Harare magistrate Elisha Singano sentenced him to five months in prison, three of which were suspended on condition of good behavior and the remaining two were wholly suspended on condition that he pays a $200 fine.

MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa and Douglass Mwonzora were in court in solidarity with their deputy president when the sentence was handed down of the sentence.

Komichi was represented by Obey Shava, a lawyer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights while the state was represented by Michael Reza.

Last month, Tendai Biti was slapped with a suspended six-month prison term for illegally announcing fake results for the 2018 harmonised elections. The six-month prison sentence was wholly suspended for five years on condition that Biti does not commit a similar offence within that period. The former Minister of Finance was also fined $200 by Harare magistrate Gloria Takundwa.

In the latest case, Reza proved that on August 2, Komichi was at the Harare International Conference Centre waiting for the announcement of the 2018 poll results by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

During a short break by the commission, Komichi went to the podium reserved for ZEC commissioners and grabbed the microphone before he announced that the MDC Alliance disputed the election results, while proceedings were being live-streamed.

Komichi said the results were flawed because MDC Alliance election agents were not asked to verify them.

Interrupting the electoral process, Komichi said: “I did not sign those results, so the results are fake. The results have just been printed and they have not been verified by agents.”

The MDC has accused the courts of being used by Zanu (PF) to harass the ruling party’s political opponents.

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