The Supreme Court of Appeal has agreed with the five High Court judges, who heard the elections case as Constitutional Court that there were massive irregularities in the May 21 2019 presidential election which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected the results that were annulled.
In its 500-paged judgement, the five-judge panel comprising Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise unanimously faulted MEC for failing to carry out its constitutional duties, negligence and abdication of the same.
The court said the electoral body failed in all constitutional tests it set out on the elections and that the irregularities were so glaring that the credibility of the election was in question; hence, an order for a fresh election.
Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who was the first respondent with MEC as the second respondent appealed to Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
Led by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, the panel of seven judges who have arrived at a unanimous decision on the matter, the Supreme Court said the record is very clear that MEC had outstanding complaints at the publication of the results.
Reading the second part of the judgement, Justice Lovemore Chikopa said the Supreme Court of Appeal agree with the lower court that “use of tippex was gross irregularity” and that “constituency tally centres were unlawful.”
If there is an error on documents, the Supreme Court said they ought to be reported to district tally centre or national tally centre if unresolved at district tally centres.
Chikopa pointed out that DPP’s director of elections Ben Malunga Phiri who was a witness at ConCourt “acknowledged that there was confusion in the electoral process.”
Malunga said tippex was used to correct errors on voter sheets.
But Supreme Court said the use of tippex, fake tally sheets, reserved tally sheets, improvised tally sheets, all amounted to irregularities.
The court further said: “The court below adequately dealt with the issue of how MEC failed to resolve complaints by the political parties during the elections.”
In its determination, the Supreme Court said the electoral body does not provide new documents and use of duplicates, improvised sheets, and unsigned tally sheets was also an irregularity.
The court will finalise delivery of the judgement in the afternoon after taking a 45-minutes adjournment.
If the Supreme Court upholds the judgement, the fresh election will proceed and if it overturns it, there will be no election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :