The five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court has extended the period to hear the trial in the second segment of the highly-anticipated presidential election nullification petition case to 14 days uninterrupted from initial nine days before another direction is given.
The proceedings resumed on Tuesday September 3 after running for 11 consecutive days in the first phase.
When the court convened for the continued substantive hearing in Lilongwe, the judges panel through its chairperson Healey Potani, said they are “satisfied” with the process that the parties have followed in updating the check-list of witnesses it intends to cross-examine.
“There is significant reduction with a number of witnesses to testify,” said Potani on behalf of the panel—which also comprises judges Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise and Redson Kapindu.
He said parties have largely specified areas which they want to focus on cross examination.
Potani then said the hearing which was expected to last on September 13 will run up to September 20.
“We had earlier on indicated we will sit for 9 days to 13 September 2019. We have revisted that position and we would want to extend the hearing to 20th September 2019.
“It will go on for 14 days. We hope by then we would have made some significant progress,” said Potani.
The case is likely to run for the next four months, according to Registrar of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, Agnes Patemba.
The registrar said much as the Constitutional Court has its own rules, there was no time-frame within which the case can be heard, except the fact that after all witnesses are heard and submissions are made, and case is closed, the court must, as per set rules, deliver its judgement within 45 days.
Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, representing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), on Tuesday continued cross-examining witness of the first petitioner, the immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, Miriam Gwalidi.
Chilima and his counterpart, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazurus Chakwera, want results of the Tripartite Elections nullified on allegations that MEC mismanaged them and unduly announced the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika as winner.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :