Malawi election case to drag for 4 months: Court chides Mutharika lawyers

The presidential election nullification petition case will drag for the next four months with Constitutional Court expected to deliver ruling next year, Nyasa Times understands as five-judge panel on Friday rejected a new checklist by President Peter Mutharika lawyers who indicated they wanted to cross-examine 243 witnesses.

Attorney General Kaphale (L) and Mutharika  lawyers talk outside the court.-photo by Lisa Kadango, Mana
Last week, the Constitution Court  directed that all parties should submit new witness checklist indicating how many dependent they are to be cross examine, their identities and areas or paragraphs to be examined for the court to achieve expedition on the case.
However, Judge Healey Potani, chair of the five-judge panel of Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu, Mike Tembo and Ivy Kamanga, on Friday noted that Mutharika lawyers were “not candid enough”  and one that “did not take the exercise seriously”on the issues as they only indicated that they want to quiz 243 witness.
“The court has rejected the first respondent’s checklist because it seems like it was not prepared according to the direction of the court. They will have to file a new one which will comply with the court directive,” said Justice Potani.
He said there were no areas specified to be cross-examined.
“With this in mind, the approach taken by the first respondent (Mutharika) leaves a lot to be desired and, as such, we reject the first check list; We order the first respondent to file and serve an amended check list by 4 o’clock on Monday,” said Potani.

UTM has indicated it only want to cross examine a total of four, while the Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP), looks set to examine 12 witnesses. Lawyers for President Mutharika want 243 witnesses in the block, while the MEC legal team want a total of 38 from UTM and 15 from MCP affidavits.

The Court has sent back all legal teams to perfect their submissions, indicate the areas which they are in agreement and areas they want to cross-examine the other side. Mutharika lawyers were chided for not being serious.

An estimated 50 witnesses are expected to be on the dock and MCP president Lazarus Chakwera might only be heard in court probably end October or November should the current pace of proceedings persists.

Registrar of High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Agnes Patemba said there is no specific duration to hear the elections petition case, saying the trial may reach December.

She said it was also incorrect to think that when the court announced it was going to sit for 12 consecutive days, it meant the matter was going to be concluded within that period.

Patemba who is Judiciary spokesperson said the constitutional court gives judges mandate to make their determination for a maximum of 45 days after conclusion of hearing the case.

“There are rules that govern elections, Considering that the case is now at the Constitutional Court, there are also rules that are followed,” said Patemba.

Ruling in the case in which UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and a fellow presidential hopeful in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera, petitioned the court to nullify the results, citing irregularities in the administration of the polls.  can be predicted somewhere after one year of elections.

But judiciary spokesperson said “it is our prayer that we should be done with the hearing of this case by November or December, but we should not get up to next year.”

In an earlier court session, lead counsel for Chakwera, Modecai Msiska, a reputable Senior Counsel (SC) said with the slow pace of the proceedings and court failure to control the Affairs, it was going to take them up to 2025 to have the matter reach its logical conclusion.

The judges were not amused with his assertion and reprimanded him that his statement was going to give a bad impression to the public who are following the case live on radios.

Msiska apologised to the bench.

The MCP and UTM Party presidential candidates claim the presidential elections were rigged in favour of Mutharika who was declared winner with 38 percent of the votes trailed by Chakwera with 35 percent and Chilima with 20 percent.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Njolo mpilu
Guest
Njolo mpilu

mlandu ukukokedwa all bcoz anthu angofunapo kudya ndalama. mindless pipo.

Justice Usiwa
Guest
Justice Usiwa

Judge Potani has promised 9 day we are counting failure to do we will charge extra

Tan
Guest
Tan

Mumamva chizungu inu?. He said the next block will last for nine days. The previous one lasted 11 days. It’s pretty much a block release method.

Mbwiye
Guest
Mbwiye

Apapa ndiye maloya omwe kwawo ndi ku blantyre apeze nyumba ku lilongwe chifukwa ku hotel ndalama zikuthatu mulandu usanathe.

FOOLISH ANSWERS ARE ANSWERS 2
Guest

OUR JUDGES HAVE BEEN SILENTLY
TIPPEXED —–YOU THINK DPP CADETS ARE SLEEPING ?

Pendeka
Guest
Pendeka

The judges can guide us well – do not let those who sense that they will loose the case drag the matter.

Nedson Kaunda
Guest
Nedson Kaunda

The Kenyan election case was well presented by the highly learned Lawyer in the name of Lumumba, how I wish he could come to Malawi to sort out this mess that we have found ourselves in…..Malawi Lawyers tend to pock fun at each other and nothing comes of their arguments…..this case shall really drag on for a while until APM’s term of office comes to an end…deadlocked

Justice Usiwa
Guest
Justice Usiwa

Even during Jesus case, not more witnesses were called to testify but the massive need for him to be crucified ,Pilate handed him over.This a good lesson to keep peace among society. You might be judges but your thinking level could be very low to save the nation’s very fragile peace.Any next demostration would destroy the country completely.

Jeoffrey Mbeya
Guest
Jeoffrey Mbeya

Malawi is always behind in all fields. I think our Lord must intervene on what is happening. Kenya had their election case sorted within a month. Kenya is 5 times size of Malawi with large population , but we are failing to deliver. All we know is how to steal government money.

Lego
Guest

Just imagine,and from the look,you could even tell that MEC and DPP are just playing delaying tactics to buy time

Pendeka
Guest
Pendeka

I think you have a point. Can’t the judges guide to say we will only need 10 witnesses and we should be able to make a judgement. Why will some one need 243 witnesses examined. In a such scenario I would sense that the one doing so knows that they have lost the case and wants to find ways to fool the judges.

braveheart
Guest

what is Kenya GDP vs Malawi GDP? Kenya is advanced more than Malawi in in it’s own right my fwendo. Things can’t happen same way. Ok?until people like u have independent mind..thinking out of the box

Well
Guest
Well

It just shows that judges are part of the syndicate of delaying the case

Sam
Guest
Sam

Spot on boss we need to start reacting things very quick.

Kandulu
Guest
Kandulu

Can’t agree more

Tan
Guest
Tan

Did you analyse the kenyan case? It was simple. The figures at the polling centres were not those at the national tally centre. The case was very straightforward. Unfortunately Chilima doesn’t have such evidence. Hopefully MCP has it and the case might move faster.