23 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Arrests Won't Stop Me, Says Komichi

MDC-T's newly-appointed deputy president Morgen Komichi believes he was born to fight oppression, misrule and other forms of dictatorship that go against democratic values.

Komichi stole the limelight when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was preparing to announce the July 30 presidential election results and he stormed the stage during a break. He shouted that Zec was about to announce fake results.

In 2013 he was convicted for contravening electoral laws after pulling a similar stunt and was sentenced to community service.

However, the conviction was quashed after an appeal. Komichi says he is unfazed by the numerous arrests and will continue to challenge electoral "fraud".

Born 54 years ago in Sanyati, Komichi did his education in Kwekwe. In 1984 he joined Zesa as an apprentice and rose through the ranks to be a foreman and senior foreman.

He was fired by the parastatal in 2007 due to his opposition political activities.

Komichi said he joined MDC at its formation and became the provincial chairman for Matabeleland North province from 2000 to 2006.

"I think I did a very good job spreading the gospel of MDC that time. In Matabeleland North province the MDC had 80% presence and Zanu PF 20% during my time," he said.

"We went for a congress in 2006 and because of my hard work I was so popular.

"I was elected into the standing committee as deputy organising secretary working under Elias Mudzuri and we produced a fantastic result in 2008.

"From 2006-2011 I was the deputy national chairman and worked very hard and introduced a lot of changes in the chairman's office.

"In 2017, the then chairperson, Lovemore Moyo, resigned and I took over as national chairman and managed quite effectively our transition after we lost our icon (Morgan Tsvangirai) in February.

"I led the election campaign with the difficulties that we had financially and also the loss of our leader, I think we did well," he said, summing up his political career.

Komichi was arrested countless times during his tenure as provincial chairman and spent several weeks in custody.

"When I was still provincial chairman, I was incarcerated seven times and when I came to Harare, I was also incarcerated in 2007 and I spent six months in custody. I was tortured heavily by the police and I almost died," he said.

"From there onwards, I was arrested numerous times including in 2013 when I was accused of manipulating ballot papers.

"I spent 100 days in Chikurubi [Maximum Security Prison], but I appealed and challenged the judgement and I was found not guilty."

Komichi said his dream was to further his education in the field of peace, leadership and conflict management.

He said this was what motivated him to angrily storm the Zec podium to announce that the electoral body was about to give out fake results of the July 30 polls.

"When you saw me denouncing Zec, it's because they were doing the wrong things before me, before my party, before my country and the whole world," he said.

"When I did that I was providing leadership and I will continue doing so whenever it's necessary."

Komichi is VP in charge of policy and international advocacy where he oversees the party's domestic and foreign interests.

The Nelson Chamisa-led party is preparing for an elective congress and Komichi said he would be campaigning for the vice-presidency.

"At the congress I will campaign for the position of vice-president like anyone else who will be free to campaign," he said.

"Whoever wins it, if not me, I will congratulate the winner and will work on other assignments. I have no problems with that.

"This appointment is to fill vacancies that cannot be left vacant for now.

"It was going to be absurd if the president was going to run the party without these positions filled."

Komichi said the MDC Alliance had emerged wiser from the disputed elections.

"This is not our first time to go through this situation. We have been taking part in elections since 2000 and we are now cleverer than before," he said.

"We will continue fighting for the things that we believe in.

"The government of Zimbabwe at the moment doesn't have both local and international legitimacy at all.

"They have to work for legitimacy and we are a key component in bringing that legitimacy."

Komichi said they would be pushing for reforms to deal with allegations of state capture of organisations such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

"They are captured, but we know they are not going anywhere. President Emmerson Mnangagwa desperately wants international recognition, but that is not going to happen without us," he said.

Komichi said the MDC Alliance was not interested in joining the Zanu PF government, but wanted dialogue to thrash out disputes over the conduct of elections in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe

Which Four Destinations on the Continent Are Cool for Travellers?

Four African destinations have made it on to National Geographic Traveller's Cool List for 2019. Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Zimbabwe Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.