The Constitutional Court in the ongoing presidential election court petition case has said it wants a speedy trial and announced new eight directions to ensure the matter is expedited following concerns that the case was moving at a slow pace.
The UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legal teams have accused the governing Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) legal teams of employing tactics to delay the case, including repetitive questions.
On Tuesday morning, Judge Healey Potani, chair of the five-judge panel of Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu, Mike Tembo and Ivy Kamanga, sitting as the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe, announced eight directions to speed the trial.
The directions of the Constitutional Court, among them, are that lawyers will not be allowed to make cross references to other witness statements when cross-examining a different witness.
The court also ordered that there should be no repeat of questions asked by previous lawyers irrespective of parties represented.
In the new directions, the lawyers are asked to avoid asking witnesses for legal opinions
The court has also directed that cross-examination should be limited to matters in dispute and where the issue is about summarization of figures, witnesses should not be asked to make calculations in court.
Potani said the directions are necessary for speedy trial which he says is in anyone’s best interest.
The election case – started on July 28 – after opposition presidential candidates challenged the results as Tipp-Ex,correction fluid was widely used on tally sheets.
Malawi went to the polls on May 21 to elect the President which Peter Mutharika, who heads the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was declared the winner.
However, the opposition parties have been protesting the results for the past three months with violent demonstrations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :