MDC-Alliance national chairperson Morgen Komichi, who was wanted by the police on allegations of interrupting the announcement of July 30 presidential election results at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission national results command centre housed at the Harare International Conference Centre, has been arrested.
His arrest comes after the Zimbabwe Republic Police recently issued a statement saying they were looking for nine senior MDC-Alliance officials, including Tendai Biti and Komichi, on allegations of inciting their supporters to embark on an illegal demonstration in Harare recently.
Six people died after being shot by soldiers and property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed during the demonstration that has received wide condemnation.
At least 27 people were arrested following the violent disturbances and are on bail.
Among those that were arrested was former Harare South legislator Shadreck Mashayamombe, while 18 others were picked up at Harvest House, the MDC-T faction headquarters in Harare.
The other MDC-Alliance functionaries being sought for contravening the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23 are Happymore Chidziva, Jim Kunaka, Paddington Japajapa, Mafaiti Mubaiwa, Jeff Tafadzwa Chaitezvi, Lovejoy Chitengu and Chamunorwa Madya.
Komichi’s lawyer Mr Obey Shava confirmed in an interview yesterday that his client was detained at Harare Central Police Station.
“I went with him in the morning at Harare Central Police Station,” he said. “His charges are for contravening Section 186 of the Electoral Act.”
Section 186 dealt with interruptions in connection with elections.
According to the section, “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.”
Komichi is likely to appear in court today.
Komichi staged a sideshow during the announcement of presidential election results when he jumped onto the podium at the elections command centre and claimed that his party rejected results that were being announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Komichi made the announcement when it became clear that his party had lost the presidential race, as only one province was still outstanding, with President Mnangagwa leading.
The incident occurred just before Zec commissioners were about to take their seats for the resumption of the announcement of results, and the drama was captured live on national and international television stations that were broadcasting the event live.
“We, as the MDC-Alliance reject the results that have been announced because they have not been verified,” said Komichi from the podium. “I am the chief election agent for Mr Nelson Chamisa and I am here to say the results that have been announced were fake. I did not verify them. I have not signed them.”
Some Zec commissioners who had already walked into the room had to wait on the sidelines, as Komichi continued to address journalists, amid howls of disapproval from the audience.
The police had to move in and eject him from the podium.