Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has complied with Constitutional Court’s set dateline for filing and serving of 748 sworn affidavits in opposition to petitioners UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, in a case where the two want presidential election results nullified.
The lawyer for MEC Tamando Chokotho confirmed that they have filed the sworn statements.
According to the sworn statements seen, the two petitioners have no case at all, Nyasa Times sources have revealed.
Going through the documents that were filed on Tuesday, July 30 2019, there is no evidence at all to suggest that the re-election of President Peter Mutharika was irregular as alleged by Chakwera and Chilima.
“Sampling through the sworn statements, it is clear that the election was transparent and free and fair, and that the results announced by MEC were a true reflection of the will of the people,” commented one legal expert who had perused through the sworn statements.
Chakwera and Chilima are seeking to nullify the re-election of President Mutharika, citing the use of Tippex, which is a correction fluid, as their main ground for application.
However, going through the 748 sworn statements filed by MEC, obtained from various Presiding Officers across the country, it is clear that the use of Tippex was simply an afterthought by the officers, all of whom are primary school headteachers, to correct statistical errors on the results sheets, which errors had arisen from genuine arithmetical errors
“I can indeed confirm that MEC has files about 750 sworn statements, all of which are to the effect that the presiding officers are confirming the results that were announced, as being a true reflection of what they counted at their polling stations,” said one court clerk at the Lilongwe High Court Registry, who opted for anonymity, out of fear of the obvious.
But lawyers for both Chilima and Chakwera said they will argue their case in court with their evidence.
As it is, the battle lines are now drawn and the nation should expect fireworks as soon as trial begins.
The Constitutional Court on July 26 ruled in favour of MEC granting them a 5-day extension to finish collecting sworn statements from their witnesses.
Nyasa Times understands that lawyers for the two petitioners, Mvalo and Company, and Nicholls and Brooke’s have asked MEC to serve them the documents on the morning of Wednesday, July 31 2019 as they had already closed their offices when the documents were ready for service.
This means that MEC has complied with the order of the court, and the case is now ready for trial.
Over the past week, rumours were awash on social media that the first petitioner, hilima has told former president Bakili Muluzi that he is willing to withdraw the case, if President Mutharika is willing to consider his party four cabinet positions and some diplomatic postings.
The presidential case has been marred with concurrent violent demonstrations which commentators fear may prejudice the outcome of the case.
Meanwhile, the legal team for MEC are upbeat on the case and are ready to start trial on August 8, as directed by the court, although the lawyers for Chilima have still not complied with the court order to serve then with a paginated bundle of their court documents.
Apanel of five judges of the High Court of Malawi comprising Healey Potani, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo are hearing the case sitting as Constitutional Court.
MEC declared that Mutharika won re-election with 39 percent of the vote. Chakwera was second with 35 percent, followed by Chilima with 20 percent.
Chakwera and Chilima are alleging ballot box stuffing and the use of correction fluid to change votes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :