Hearing of the landmark but divisive presidential election case continues in Lilongwe with Mirriam Gwalidi, a key witness for UTM Party presidential candidate and first petitioner in the case Saulos Chilima disowning a seven-page document which she was told to read in the court.
During the hearing of the case on Tuesday, chairperson of the five-panel judge hearing the case, Healey Potani on behalf of panel of five judges—Redson Kapindu, Healey Potani, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Mike Tembo—declared that part of the evidence which Gwalidi provided in the court was hearsay.
This was during cross examination when lawyer for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Tamando Chokotho pinned down Gwalidi on her documentary evidence during the inspection of a MEC ballot warehouse.
Gwalidi had disowned a seven-page document which she was told to read in the court which was compiled during the inspection of the ballot warehouse.
The UTM witness said she did not author the document herself prompting Chokotho to ask the court to disregard the evidence.
In his line of cross-examination, the MEC lawyer sought to solicit a confession from Gwalidi that any evidence collected during the exercise was inadequate to cast doubt on the validity of the election results.
Potani ruled in favour of Chokotho after lawyer for UTM Bright Theu protested but the Constitutional Court judge ordered that the document remains part of the sworn affidavits for record purposes.
Lawyer for UTM Khumbo Soko clarified outside the court that the said document was authored by another UTM monitor who was part of the team that inspected the MEC ballot warehouses.
Meanwhile, the MEC team have finished cross-examining Gwalidi and lawyers of President Peter Mutharika have taken over to cross examine the UTM witness.
MEC will cross-examine all 38 witnesses for Chilima, the first petitioner, as well as 16 witnesses for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera, who is the second petitioner, according to Chokhotho.
Chakwera and UTM Chilima, who came second and third with about 35 percent and 20 percent of the presidential votes, respectively, are challenging the re-election of President Peter Mutharika who won the elections with 38 percent of the vote.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :