Chigumba Is A Fraudster, Komichi Tells Court
MDC Alliance national chairman Morgen Komichi has told a Harare magistrate that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba is an elections fraudster and alleged that other commissioners were even surprised with the results she announced for the 2018 presidential election.
“ZEC acting chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana honestly told us that the presidential results would be announced after verification was done and he took us to a room where there was a television. We were surprised when we came back in the announcement room and found Chigumba already announcing the presidential results. We waited for her to conclude and she announced her fake results of nine provinces and I did not interrupt her,” said Komichi, who was leading evidence during cross-examination by his lawyer Obey Shava.
He alleged Chigumba was in another room at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) doctoring figures of the elections with the help of other people he described as “boys”.
“Our relationship with Zec had been okay in the past despite not approving their figures. We have been working well as chief election agents of MDC with the former Zec elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi, Justice George Chiweshe, Justice Rita Makarau and Silaigwana. When we had a problem, we would come to Zec and if we found them in a meeting, they would adjourn the meeting and attend to us in the past. We had a relationship of brothers,” Komichi said.
“But things started to change when Chigumba took over. She would tell us she is busy, especially to us MDC members. Even other commissioners like Silaigwana who were apprising us of the developments during the announcement of the results did not know the programme of events.
Komichi said during the break, he then addressed the gathering, telling them to disregard the results because they were “fake”.
He insisted that what he did was not illegal because he waited for the commissioners to announce their fake results.
Komichi was asked by prosecutor Michael Reza what the court would do if someone from the gallery started shouting in court in the middle of proceedings. Komichi replied that Reza’s example did not resemble what he did.
“Your Worship, there is a clear example where the prosecutor, Reza, was nearly choked by Tendai Biti in court during the adjournment of the case, and the newspapers reported of the incident. But Biti was never arrested because it was an adjournment. Your Worship was not in court, that’s why he was not arrested,” Komichi responded.
He said he was vindicated that Zec was announcing fake results after the body announced three different sets of presidential results after the incident.
Four witnesses testified in the case and the State closed its case, but the court dismissed Komichi’s application for discharge, saying he had a case to answer and must be put to his defense.
Komichi is expected to call his witnesses.
He is facing charges of contravening section 186 of the Electoral Act by allegedly interrupting the official announcement of results.