The 2019 UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Klaus Chilima ended his worse third day in court by admitting that six of his seven allegations did not meet his categorisation as “plethora of irregularities” as only 0.529% polling centres he used as his evidence to challenge the results were below the term.
Former Vice President could end up the greatest casualty of the post-elections period as he routinely told rallies and demonstrations that he had “over whelming evidence” to prove that President Peter Mutharika aided by the Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah rigged the 2019 elections.
Chilima in his petition to the court alleges intimidation of monitors which only covered 0.16% percent of polling centres namely Ndirande, Namalimwe, Ntcheu Community, Sharpe Valley and Folopence in Thyolo.
Another allegation of bribing of monitors centres on affidavit at Ndirande Community Centre where Brown Mpinganjira, a senior member of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose son Chipiliro won the parliamentary race, allegedly brought money for the party monitors. The affidavit of the UTM official state that the money was for airtime for DPP monitors- Chilima agreed that parties were obliged to pay their monitors.
Kaphale who has been having field day since he brought Chilima in the witness box, had to be stopped by objections from Chilima legal team which looked apprehensive as their star witness confirmed again on unauthorised persons having materials and arrests of persons with only one case reported at Mbalachanda in the whole Northern Region.
Kaphale is expected to wind up on Tuesday as he promised to question all exhibits Chilima has submitted to court in backing up his case. Some of the UTM officials who signed the affidavits are expected to be cross examined, and should the Attorney Genera; prove that there were negligible irregularities or some of them mere allegations, the case would rely heavily on Malawi Comgress Party (MCP) evidence.
The question again would be why they included President Peter Mutharika on the respondents as it would only delay the case should his lawyers decide to pursue the matter.
Two fundamental questions that need to be answered by Chilima after telling the court his evidence was less than half a percent is
- As a learned man, why did he go to court with such shallow evidence and claim of massive rigging when he had less than 10 affidavits of witnesses of the same?
- Is he prepared to apologise to Malawians, he claims to hold dear to or to respect for allowing the country burn during demonstrations while he did not have “overwhelming evidence” or he will be just another politician riding on Malawians anger without the truth or justice mattering?
As Kaphale is winding up, surely most of the public need answers from their political leaders. Day 3 we cannot continue to pretend it’s still too early. Evidence is being tackled, as the days last questions was “Would you tell Malawians that the irregularities were not that many?”- with the answer Yes, could have been the day that sealed the case Chilima presented to court.
His legal team need more than questions of law answered, they need to be seen to be pursuing justice not just a bitter loser. Because whatever the outcome, Chilima’s words will be judged on ballot again soon or later, re-run or 2024. He needs to prove “massive rigging.”