Former Vice President Saulos Chilima who was accused of clinging to office when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government officials called for his resignation after he ditched the party on June 6 2018, faced his ghosts as President Peter Mutharika lawyer Frank Mbeta forced him to accept that “calls for resignation are not proof of wrongdoing.”
Chilima admitted there are no grounds for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign .
Mbeta, who started cross examining Chilima on a Friday in the ongoing presidential election petition case at the Constitutional Court, dwelled on the political side of Chilima and boxed him to admit that he did not resign as Vice President which means the calls by himself for Justice Jane Ansah, to resign were mere hypocrisy.
Mutharika’s lawyer Mbeta asked: “At a certain point you were requested by certain quarters to resign but you did not.”
“That’s correct,” Chilima said in response
Mbeta then questioned Chilima if he would agree that being required to resign is not a proof of misconduct and the UTM leader refused to agree.
He pressed him s: “To be clear, you would say a requirement to resign is a proof of misconduct; yes or no?”
Chilima responded: “For that question, the answer is yes.”
The UTM Party President told the jam-packed court that the demands for Ansah’s resignation do not in any way reflect any incompetence on her part in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Answering questions when cross examined by Mbeta, Chilima told the court that Ansah had ably responded to and addressed all their queries as regarding the May elections.
Chilima lawyers Marshal Chilenga, Chikosa Sulungwe and Bright Theu worked over time to block Mbeta’s questioning which also exposed that Chilima had hidden from the public a response of a letter from Ansah after his much publicised letter giving the MEC chairperson seven days to resign and respond.
The former Vice President said that it is only out of choice that he chose not to make public any responses from Ansah.
In his letter, Chilima said he had evidence that Ansah spoke to colleagues at MEC to work on re-electing Mutharika and stop the possible ascendancy to the vice-presidency of MCP running mate Muhammad Sidik Mia allegedly for being a Muslim.
But Ansah denied both allegations, saying she has no access to MEC staff except the chief elections officer.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, rejected any calls for her to resign on principle, saying she will wait for the court’s judgement on the matter to decide whether to call it quits.
She described nationwide demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in the country’s four cities last Thursday demanding her resignation as “mob justice”.
The day six of the election case saw the UTM leader tore his own affidavit, as he agreed allegations of bribing, tippex and inadequate Police had no basis in his affidavit.
He also repeated his agreement that Tippex had no effect on valid votes during the elections.
The climax of the long day was when Mbeta asked to play voices which Chilima had submitted and the public were taken back to elections day results. Chilima allegation that some had been found with marked ballots was clearly explained by Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika in the tape recording of a MEC press briefing that the matter in Mzimba of pre-marker ballots had been addressed and one of the presiding officers was arrested.
Another audio played in court was of first respondent in the case, President Mutharika while addressing a political rally after the election results were announced mocking of Chilima that he claimed to have been master of rigging and that DPP votes were “stolen” in Central Region, sent the court into laughter at the end of the tape.
Justice Ansah’s voice was played for press conferences she addressed before announcing the presidential results.
Mbeta’s facing of constant interjections from Chilima lawyers indicate again the desperation of how the star witness has performed, tearing his own affidavit and agreeing essentially that there were no serious flaws that affected the valid votes.
Lawyer Mbeta is expected to wind up on Monday and former Attorney General Charles Mhango is expected to start cross examining him.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :