Lawyers for first respondent President Peter Mutharika in the ongoing historic presidential election case will on Monday quiz UTM presidential candidate Saulos Chilima on the audio recordings he has presented in Constitution Court as evidence in which poll commission officials are overheard discussing election irregularities.
Frank Mbeta, one of the lawyers for Mutharika, on Friday started asking Chilima about the recordings before the matter was adjourned to Monday.
Mbeta and other lawyers representing Mutharika—Charles Mhango and Chancy Gondwe will take on Chilima in the witness box for what will be his seventh day since the case started — about the evidence he has tendered marked as ‘SKC’.
The recordings were played on Friday in court and included a press conference Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah held in Blantyre during the election result management process, when results had started streaming to the national tally centre.
Ansah’s voice could be heard responding to journalists and making reference to the 147 ‘Madando’ [complaints] the commission had received in the aftermath of voting and counting.
In that recording, Ansah was overheard sounding optimistic that political parties would accept the results, saying MEC had given parties chance to review complaints.
Ansah further defended slow process of announcing results to work on complaints, saying all complaints were not about presidential results. She was further overheard saying that MEC asked complainants to provide evidence, including result sheets for comparison during allegations that results were doctored.
In the second recording, MEC officials were addressing another press briefing in which the electoral body’s officials are overheard responding to questions to journalists about an incident in Mzimba, where there was an alleged discovery of pre-marked ballot papers.
In the audio, MEC chief executive officer (CEO) Sam Alfandika is heard confirming the alleged incident and explaining that police have arrested the perpetrator, a teacher at one of the polling centres. He is further heard saying criminal prosecution would follow.
The third and final recording focused on Mutharika’s rally in the aftermath of the elections, at which he is heard discussing the allegations of rigging in the elections.
At one instance, Mutharika tells the audience that a member of the opposition, had declared before the elections that there will be no rigging of the elections because “technology is his realm”.
Then Mutharika is overheard making a statement that his party, too, had its “votes stolen” in the central parts of the country.
The five-judge panel of Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Ivy Kamanga adjourned the case to Monday, August 19 for continued cross-examination of Chilima.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :