The Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale standing in as counsel for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the ongoing presidential elections case on Thursday morning tussled with UTM’s second witness Mirriam Gwalidi over claims of irregularities during the vote counting and results tabulation at stream and polling center level.
According to Gwalidi’s sworn statement, there were vast irregularities at Ndirande and Blantyre secondary school ranging from monitors being denied complaints letters, access to both results and tally sheets and alterations of results.
At Blantyre Secondary School Tally Center, Gwalidi told a panel of five judges that she found a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official changing or altering results around 8pm of May 21 2019 without the presence of UTM monitors.
Asked by Kaphale whether there is any sworn statement by any monitor at stream level complaining about the malpractice, Gwalidi indicated that there is none.
She, however, told the court of one sworn statement by Chifundo Bonongwe, who was a monitor at a poling station at Ndirande Hall, which indicates that MEC officials were announcing results without monitors participation in results counting and they were denied access to the tally sheets.
In agreement with Kaphale, Gwalidi told the court that there was no one complaining at the stream level.
During further cross examination, it was established that there was lack of communication between Gwaladi as a roving monitor and the monitors at the stream level.
The judges reminded Kaphale several times against asking questions with obvious answers as well as asking on issues which were not in dispute as one way of making progress on the matter
Earlier on, the court had an hour long break to enable the petitioner’s lawyers to amend Gwalidi’s statement by rearranging some pages.
When the court reconvened, UTM counsel Bright Theu told the court that after discussions with the respondents lawyers, they found new narrative paragraphs which they agreed to remove, reducing the statement from seven pages to three.
Gwalidi was the UTM monitor at the main tally center in Blantyre as well as a roving monitor for the party during the electionsFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :