HARARE – MDC deputy president Morgen Komichi will learn on January 21 whether he will be put to his defence after the prosecution rested in his election offences trial on Monday.

Komichi is accused of disrupting the announcement of Presidential Election results on the night of August 2, 2018, at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Acting Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana, the main prosecution witness, took the stand as prosecutor Michael Reza wrapped up their case.

Slaigwana told magistrate Joy Chikodzore that he “did not see the accused committing the offence, but was only told.”

He is the complainant against Komichi, who is accused of contravening section 186 of the Electoral Act which says that “any person who wilfully interrupts, obstructs or disturbs any proceedings taken under this Act in connection with an election shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

Reza alleged that Komichi disturbed proceedings when he went up to the ZEC podium in front of waiting reporters during a break in the announcement of the July 30 Presidential Election results and dismissed the proceedings as a sham.

According to the prosecution, 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 the polling agents and we are the polling agents and we have not done that.

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“We held a meeting today with the ZEC CEO and we agreed on the process and the process was not followed. Thank you very much, you have our position.”

Slaigwana said he had no authority to do so.

“No-one except the commissioner is allowed to announce results,” he said.

Komichi applied for a discharge at the close of the prosecution case and the magistrate will rule on January 21 on whether he has a case to answer.