Kaphale shreds Chilima’s elections petition: UTM leader concedes claim of ‘plethora of irregularities’  in Malawi polls exagaratted

Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale on Monday afternoon in historic presidential elections nullification petition case, continued to cross-examine the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, the first petitioner, drawing him to  tell the court   that he exaggerated the level of irregularities as his claim only relates to 0.5% of the total polling station of 5002 polling centers.

Chilima has told the court that level of irregularities were not a ‘plethora’
Kaphale continues cross-examination of presidential candidate Saulos Chilima.

Chilima had claimed in his petition that the May 21 elections were married by “a plethora of irregularities ” and listed seven types of such.

But turning up for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in his capacity as government’s  chief  legal adviser, Kaphale  during cross-examination  on day three of UTM leader being in the witness box,  he made Chilima go through the affidavits filed in his petition where he  mentionied the names of the monitors and the polling centres where the alleged bribery occurred.

One of the affidavits by UTM monitors say that Brown Mpinganjira, a senior member of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was seen providing money to monitors and also voters. The affidavit claims police had blocked UTM monitors from taking pictures of the bribery.

Kaphale asked Chilima about the media reports that UTM monitors have not been paid in which agreed it is true. He then asked whether paying monitors is a bribe in which Chilima said monitors deserve to be paid as contractual obligation for the work done.

The Attorney General also argued against an affidavit which mentions alleged bribery by DPP Regional Governor for South Charles Mchacha in which he said the affidavit doesn’t mention bribery of monitor.

Out of six of the seven cited irregularities,  Chilima conceded that the cited irregularities,  which were not admitted by Malawi Electoral Commissio (MEC), affected a minuscule percentage of polling stations as follows:

  • Intimidation of Monitors = 0.16% of all polling stations
  • Bribing of election monitors= 0.019% of all polling stations
  • Presiding staff influencing voters who to vote for= 0.13% of all polling stations
  • Unauthorized persons being found with ballot papers and ballot boxes= 0.12% of all polling stations
  • Arrest of persons for polling offences= 0.06% of all polling stations
  • Failure to deliver the ballot papers under conditions of absolute security = 0.04% of all polling stations .

In the final analysis, the former vice-president was forced to take back use of the word “plethora” on these  six cited irregularities as it did not reflect the situation on the ground.

Here is part of the gruelling cross-examination:

Kaphale: Dr Chilima having agreed with me that the centers cited in your witness statement as being affected by irregularities have nothing to do with the said irregularities, what percent of the centers  is remaining? 

 Chilima: 0.5 percent, my lady, My Lords

 Kaphale:  In your petition, one of the grounds for asking the election results to be nullified is that you say the elections were affected by a “plethora” of irregularities. What is the meaning or another word for the word “ plethora”? 

 Chilima: A lot,  my lady and my lords. 

 Kaphale : The Dictionary meaning of the word “Plethora” is “a large or excessive amount”.  Are you aware of that? 

 Chilima: Yes I’ m aware . 

 Kaphale: Would you then say5 percent of anything is a plethora, a large amount or an excessive of anything as your petition alleges? 

Chilima: No response 

Kaphale: Would you then agree with me that your use of the word “plethora” in discribing the extent of  the irregularities was wrong? 

 Chilima: I don’t agree

 Kaphale: So as far as you are concerned you are telling the nation that .5 % of anything is a large percent  or excessive percentage of 100 percent of that thing?

 Chilima: Yes, my lord my lady. 

Kaphale: Thank you. We have to stop there.

Attorney General will Tuesday  continue  the cross examination of Chilima on the allegation of alteration of votes and on other cited irregularities.

Meanwhile,  lawyers for Chilima, in fear of Kaphale’s cross-examination for Tuesday where he  is expected to grill  the UTM leader on each and every exhibits which are close to 2000, have asked for a private meeting for the court on case management.

Kaphale has made it bleak that he will not agree to any limitation to his cross-examination. The Court  has since asked Chilima’s lawyers to indicate the agenda of the meeting and that such private meeting can only take place on Wednesday. This means Chilima will continue to be grilled Tuesday without any protection.

The hearing, which other quarters had suggested that will take 24 days, promises to be one of the longest in the history of Malawi with over 800 witness available and meant to be cross examined in the matter.

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mwenewamwene
Guest
mwenewamwene

Let me remind all readers of this.During the presser which MEC chair conducted inreaction to chakweras statement that election should be declared after only afew percentage were counted, Jane Ansah said that the electral constitution provide that every single vote cast shall be counted.meaning no single vote should be avoided .In his own admission kaphale has told the nation that more votes were tampered with hence rerun.

Tsamba Likagwa
Guest
Tsamba Likagwa

Zafikapa we have all become judges of this case. Amazing. If wishes were………….beggars would ride.

Ndadabwa
Guest
Ndadabwa

Kaphale should change this to 99.5% that was NOT affected… because I have seen people here confused what .5 percent affected means…you never know even the judges will be confusing .5% with 5 %.

Kanyimbi
Guest
Kanyimbi

Munthu kuba K1,000,000 ku bank amati asamangidwe coz bankyo ili ndi ma billion?

John Gray Gufa
Guest
John Gray Gufa

You need to understand the line of argument here sir/madam. 0.5% is the total presented irregularity. No vote was stolen in the process as per Chilimas response

John
Guest
John

During cross-examination, it is difficult to prepare because lawyers ask in such a way to push you to a corner. Most often they demand yes and no answers and a few yeses or nos end up pushing you to a corner where you end up agreeing with him. Nothing strange here. If you have ever been cross examined in a court, you will agree. You will never know where the questions will take you to until you are there. And this happens with any lawyer. Wait until the petitioners’ lawyers start cross examining the respondents, it will be the same

Chittanooga
Guest
Chittanooga

Well reasoned John. Yes or No answers do end up pushing one to a corner. Sometimes a YES makes a case fall away such that the petitioner loses whatever relief he had sought. Once again, well reasoned John.

Khima
Guest
Khima

Kunena zoona mlandu uwuwu SKC anangolowela morale ya fans plus kungomva zammaluwa.

KALEKANI NDIKAPHALIRE
Guest
KALEKANI NDIKAPHALIRE

pa company apo amapanga temeki koma munthu saloledwa kulawa or 0.000001% ndiye ndikupepha kaphale ndi a dpp kuti aliyese akalawe 0.5%

Tan
Guest
Tan

Condoms are 99% koma mumavala

Charlie Hebdo
Guest
Charlie Hebdo

Kaphale is only shooting himself on the foot. If I sit for an exam, and I do 90% honestly, then cheat 10%, if found out, will I be marked 90% and disqualified the remaining 10%? The other thing most people do not understand is that Kaphale’s job is to discredit the evidence given hoping to sway the judges opinion. Much of the evidence will be brought forward as the case progresses. When it is the complainants turn, they will strive to give as much evidence of rigging and irregularities as possible. This is just the beginning of the case and… Read more »

Prof Thako Linyada
Guest
Prof Thako Linyada

I am a farmer. In total I have 5002 chicken. Last night a thief came and store 2 chicken from one of the chicken huts. We are now in court. The lawyer of The thief is arguing that this only 0.04% of the total chicken available. I dont need to complain. wow the AG of Malawi. Someone should tell me the meaning of Justice am listening

Central
Guest
Central

I don’t see why this waste of time!! Words like “many,” or “a plethora” are plural and they mean anything more than one, and or from two!! Sincerely by agreeing that the following indeed happened in more than one polling centre: • Intimidation of Monitors = 0.16% of all polling stations • Bribing of election monitors= 0.019% of all polling stations • Presiding staff influencing voters who to vote for= 0.13% of all polling stations • Unauthorized persons being found with ballot papers and ballot boxes= 0.12% of all polling stations • Arrest of persons for polling offences = 0.06%… Read more »

Tiyeseni Phiri
Guest
Tiyeseni Phiri

He agreed to nothing! The percentages are for allegations that need to be tested further!

Kalumadazi
Guest

You must be daft to think those numbers are anything serious.The judges also have to consider that every election has a margin of error.The question is whether there is proof of systematic rigging or error amd whether that would influence the result. For example..there is proof of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 American election but there is no proof that it influenced the results of the election.