Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, who is representing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), on Monday, completed the cross-examination of Eisenhower Mkaka, the fifth witness of second petitioner, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, in the historic elections case.
Mkaka, who is MCP secretary general, continued with Chakwera’s narrative that they did not see it necessary to bring evidence from political party representatives to testify of any of the candidates’ valid votes had been compromised.
He said this was so because the monitors told them that they had been denied the tally sheets, an allegation Kaphale detested as of dubious validity and outright “hearsay” as no monitor has given evidence on it.
Mkaka conceded that monitors were present at vote counting and could testify on actual valid votes per candidate.
He conceded that MEC had challenged them by its letter of May 25 2019 to back up their complaints relating to alterations, tippex, non standard forms and duplicate forms with tally sheets from monitors that showed different results. Mkaka stated however that they did not even render a single monitor result to MEC to challenge its tally.
Mkaka was cross examined on the tally sheet for Sankhani School in Mchinji and conceded that it was an outlier result for a polling station to have 175 valid votes and 524 null and void votes.
When challenged that this was a very obvious and unique isolated error, and that it was not repeated anywhere else hence the failure by MCP to bring another of such results, he conceded the point.
He also conceded that the fact that MEC displayed and distributed both the correct hand written result sheet and the erroneous tally sheet at its portal meant there was no intention to rig s a rigger would not play his card game face up.
Having alleged that MEC was not giving them tally sheets at the national tally centre, Mkaka withdrew this allegation when it was put to him that he arrived at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre on May 22 and was able to lodge a complaint with MEC based on accessed MEC tally sheets May 23.
The witness’s allegation that the election was marred by deceit was challenged on the ground that MEC allowed monitoring and that no monitor was able to bring forth a result that was different from those it captured.
Mkaka conceded he never visited any polling station and never witnessed any vote counting or tallying. He also conceded the party’s s failure to provide the court with alternative results derived from its parallel voter tally centres.
One of MEC lawyers Tamando Chokhotho said in an interview that Mkaka made statements that were “glaring hearsay” not backed by any evidence.
He said: “There were a lot of allegation by Honourable Mkaka, most of them are not supported by evidence and most of them are hearsay.
“We had previously outlines all the statements by the previous witnesses which we consider hearsay and even the judges made an intervention today because Honourable Mkaka’s hearsay evidence was glaring.”
Cross examination of Mkaka continues Tuesday when he will be taken on by Counsel Frank Mbeta representing first respondent, President Peter Mutharika.
Meanwhile lead lawyer representing Chakwera, Modecai Msisha, made an announcement about the withdrawal of one witness Richard Chimwendo Banda, saying the decision has been made to speed up the case.
“We will not be calling Richard Chimwendo Banda [to testify] in interest of expediting the case,” Msisha told the court.
This means after Mkaka, the next witness will be Daud Suleman, an IT expert.
However, Msisha said there is an intervening application which needs to be resolved as MEC has asked the court that Sulemani should not use gadgets from the electoral body to amplify his testimony.
Judge Healy Potani said it is good that Msisha indicated in good time that they will not be calling Richard Chimwendo Banda to take to the witness stand as there is a pending application that has a bearing in a manner in which Sulemani will testify.
The court will make its determination on that.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :