Court denies Komichi access to V11 forms

A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application by MDC vice-president Morgen Komichi to have access to V11 forms for him to prepare for his trial as the State concedes the documents had already been destroyed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Komichi, who appeared before magistrate Elisha Singano is facing allegations of disrupting the announcement of the July 30 Presidential election results.

The MDC senior member, who is represented by Obey Shava and Jeremiah Bhamu, had approached the court to force the State to supply him with a police running diary, V11 forms and minutes of the meeting held on August 2 before the announcement of the results.

In dismissing the application, Singano ruled that Komichi did not specify why he needed the running diary

Singano said the V11 forms were not necessary in the trial as Komichi is facing a charge of interrupting the announcement of the result.

He also ruled that Zec denies ever holding a meeting before the announcement of the results with election agents of various political parties and he cannot direct an order for minutes of a meeting which never took place. After delivering his ruling, Singano recused himself from the case, saying he had other duties and another magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura took over the proceedings. However, Shava unsuccessfully applied for a postponement, saying the rights of the accused to have a fair trial is being violated.

But prosecutor Michael Reza told court that the V11 forms had been destroyed by Zec in accordance with Section 73 (3) of the Electoral Act which states that the residues must be destroyed after 14 days of the election.

In denying the offence, Komichi told court that he was surprised to hear Zec officials announcing results before adhering to the agreed verification process.

“Komichi did not stop them from announcing those results of figures. He let them continue as he did not want to disturb what was going on. After Zec officials took an adjournment, Komichi seized the opportunity to advise the people who were in the room that what Zec had done was contrary to what was agreed upon,” Shava said.

“He only advised the people that the results which had been announced by Zec were not genuine and had not been verified by his MDC Alliance party.”

However, Reza called first witness Phineas Gutu a ZBC producer who told the court that he was not in the room when the election results were being announced, but he was in the outside broadcasting van.

He told court that he only heard that Komichi stood in front where the Zec commissioners were seated.

The trial is expected to continue on November 16.