President Peter Mutharika’s lawyer Frank Mbeta has said Mirriam Gwalidi, one of the key witnesses in the historic presidential elections petitions case, failed in his testimony to demonstrate how alleged irregularities had any effect on the results of the May 21 presidential election.
Gwalidi, who supported Chilima’s petition to have the results nullified and an order for a rerun, faced a number of lawyers in heated cross-examination, including Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale and Tamando Chokotho for MEC; and Frank Mbeta and former AG Charles Mhango for Mutharika.
She has left the witness box after Chilima lawyers finished with her a friendly re-examination on Thursday.
While lawyer Bright Theu of Chilima who re-examining Gwalidi was struck a positive tone that she has been very effective and credible witness to prove irregularities in her testimony, the legal counsel for President Mutharika, Mbeta has begged to differ.
Mbeta said Gwalidi was not able to convincingly explain how some irregularities on certain documents had altered results of the elections.
“When you talk about irregularities you must look at the effect that alleged irregularities has on the outcome.
“Gwalidi was brining only one set out of documents, other documents were available. In our view, Gwalidi has failed to demonstrate that the alleged irregularities had any effect on the results of the elections,” he said.
Before the court adjourned on Wednesday afternoon, lead lawyer for Chilima Dr Chikosa Silungwe informed the Constitutional Court that “as far as they are concerned, Gwalidi is the final witness to be cross examined by MEC lawyers” as per their checklist submitted to the court.
“As far as we are concerned, we are done with MEC because as per their August 26 amended checklist that was submitted to the court and to us on August 27 which indicated that the second respondent will only cross examine two witnesses, Dr Saulos Chilima and Miriam Gwalidi,” he said.
This meant that the third witness to stand in the dock Darlington Ndasauka is to be cross examined by only lawyers for Mutharika.
However, Kaphale stood up and informed the court that there was an anomaly which happened and asked to be corrected by Friday morning with a fresh checklist, a notion which Silungwe couldn’t swallow.
President Judge Healy Potani had to come in and directed that the court will determine the way forward Friday morning on whether MEC will be allowed to cross-examine witness Ndasauka.
As Gwalidi was bidding farewell to the witness box with her steadfast testimony, she surprised the gallery when she told the court that on May 17, few days before the polling day, MEC Chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah told party representatives and stakeholders that they will not accept anything that has tippex on it.
“We were assured of tippex free elections,” said Gwalidi who said she will miss the time in the witness dock.
Throughout her testimony, Gwalidi has been asked about electoral irregularities such as use of tippex, duplicates and misplaced tally sheets.
The petitioners contend that Mutharika “won a fraudulent election” fraught with irregularities, including alleged tampering with election results sheets through correction fluid, popularly known as Tippex.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :