A prominent law professor says the Constitutional Court needed the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chair Jane Ansah , a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, to testify in the ongoing election case to make up for the missing puzzle.
South Africa-based Danwood Chirwa says the MEC chief executive officer Sam Alufandika can only explain procedures and processes of conducting an election.
“He cannot speak about the decisions of the commissioners and the chair. So the court will not have any evidence of what was in the minds of the commissioners when they made the determinations on complaints and declared the results, what they knew and what they did not know at the time,” writes Chirwa on Facebook.
Turning to Alufandika’s cross examination on Thursday, Chirwa said the MEC CEO was highly evasive as a witness.
“This was his major weakness. If the election has to be held, he needed to take the court into his confidence by showing that all was above board, and that includes showing that he, as the custodian of the electoral process, is a man of integrity, and understands the electoral process and the fundamental principles and values that underpin Malawi’s democratic system,” says Chirwa.
Chirwa says Alufandika found it difficult to answer questions, even the most mundane and simple, directly and wasted a lot of court’s time.
“This has called his credibility into question, and with it the entire presidential election,” Chirwa writes.
Chirwa says Alufandika seems to have laid out the respondent’s case by admitting that there was considerable use of tippex which was not supplied by MEC to alter results, of duplicate copies of result forms and irregular forms.
“Nevertheless, these questionable results were used to determine the winner of the presidential election after some degrees of vetting; the vetting consisted in verifying what was on the hand written results sheets, whether altered or not, but not after the counting; if monitors did not question the altered results, unsigned results recorded on irregular forms, MEC accepted whatever was submitted to it,” he says.
Chirwa says the court will have to think about the implications of accepting the extent of the irregularities revealed in the case as the norm of constitutionalism and democratic governance.
“So far, the cross examination has established that many alterations were made at the constituency tally centres.
“If this is the case, the petitioners will have established a connection between Suleman’s theory of ghosts in the RMS who manipulated the results and the alterations occurring at the tally centres, away from monitors,” he says.
On Friday Senior Counsel Mordecai Msisha representing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, took over cross-examining Alfandika.
Msisha began by asking Alfandika whether or not the Commission met to resolve some of the queries that were brought before it.
Alfandika has told the court that commissioners met and resolved to send a fact-finding mission to some areas to establish where tippex came from. This was in response to Counsel Msisha’s question on whether MEC resolved queries brought before the announcement of results.
Msisha further asked Alfandika whether or not the commission had minutes on the meetings and on how commissioners resolved the matter after noting a widespread use of the correction fluid.
Alfandika said there were minutes written but he said he did not use the minutes to back up his sworn statement because he did not see it necessary.
Court adjourned on Friday midday and Alufandika is back in the witness box Monday morning when Msisha will continue cross–examination.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and Chakwera are seeking nullification of the presidential election results on the basis that there were irregularities, especially the results management system, that they believed compromised the outcome.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :