Lawyer Frank Mbeta representing President Peter Mutharika, the first respondent in the historic presidential election case, witnesses for UTM presidential candidate Saulos Chilima, the first petitioner, lied in his claim of poll skulduggery.
Darlington Ndasauka, who was UTM’s consulting team leader at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre during the vote tallying and tabulation process, was in the witness box on Friday for cross-examination by lawyers representing Mutharika, and lawyers representing the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the second respondent.
Ndasauka admitted to have a typing error on his allegation that the electoral body used a bogus result at one polling station, thereby inflating the result of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Mutharika.
The court used a result sheet of a centre where Mutharika got six votes, Chilima 24 and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) contender Lazarus Chakwera 677 votes.
But Mbeta said Ndasauka lied.
“You have noted that this witness has said some of the alterations were made to favour Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika but, during cross examination, he conceded that the statement was wrong and exaggeration and there was no evidence in that and it should be actually removed,” Mbeta said.
During the grueling cross-examination on Friday, Mbeta pinned Ndasauka over the primary source of valid votes.
“In his sworn argument, he seemed to suggest that the log book is the source of valid votes.But we heard the witness said the primary source of valid votes per candidate is form 60c that is what I was trying to capture and he has told the court that indeed the primary source is form 60c,” he said.
But Ndasauka later insisted that the primary source is the log book.
Earlier, he admitted having basic knowledge on use of the forms when Mbeta pushed for more answers on the matter.
“I have basic knowledge which I trust. I was not at the polling centre but I had contact with our monitors,” he said.
Ndasauka’s testimony, like the previous witness, Miriam Gwalidi, dwelt on altered result sheets.
The cross-examination by Mbeta, is expected to finish on Monday, according to an undertaking the lawyer made in court. Then Ndasauka will face a friendly re-examination from Chilima’s legal team to correct mistakes he has made in his testimony.
Chilima and Chakwera (second petitioner), are challenging the re-election of President Mutharika, alleging that the presidential results in May were marred by irregularities and fraud.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :