Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale said he will not be led into a trap by lawyers of first petitioner Saulos Chilima to limit his cross-examination, telling the court that he wants to be on record by mentioning each and every electoral form under dispute in the ongoing presidential election case.
Marshal Chilenga, one of Chilima’s lawyers, objected to Kaphale’s line of questioning, saying he had noted the answers to the questions on duplicate tally sheets.
“There have been two to three questions whose answers are the same. Can they not be treated as a bunch and have one question asked so that we do not delay?” said Chilenga on Tuesday afternoon in Constitution Court (ConCourt) as Chilima endured the fourth day of cross-examination in the witness box.
However, Kaphale told the court that he has to mention every form because he has to be on the record.
Kaphale, representing second respondent Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), in his capacity as government’s chief legal adviser, said he has lost cases before for being not on record.
“I hope I’m not being led into a trap. As I said, I have lost cases before. So I’ve made a compromise I will only mention 20 forms but the witness will have to be checking whether there are signatures in the forms that I’ll be mentioning,” said Kaphale.
Kaphale further explained that there are certain forms that do not have any signature hence, the forms cannot be treated as the same as suggested by Chilima’s lawyer.
Chilima and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera the leader of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are arguing that the May 21 Tripartite Elections lacked credibility and must be declared null and void.
The petitioners contend that President Peter Mutharika, the first respondent, “won a fraudulent election” fraught with irregularities, including alleged stuffing of ballot papers with pre-marked ballots, tampering with election results sheets through correctional fluid called Tippex, and being found in possession of result sheets at home.