Malawi Electoral Commission lawyers ready to take on petitioners in presidential election trial

As time slowly ticks towards  August 8 for the commencement of the presidential elections case, there is a flurry of very focused and purposeful activity in the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  lawyers camp who have a deadline to beat for the collection and filing of the last vestiges of their trial evidence.

Lawyers in court

The Constitutional Court had given MEC a five-day relief to conclude collection of sworn affidavits before trial starts in a case where petitioners want presidential election results nullified.

Now lawyers in the MEC legal team led by private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho, they are upbeat and most are very eager for the trial to commence in earnest.

One of the MEC lawyers – who asked not to be named because he has no mandate to talk to the media – said the public has for this long being fed lies that the election was compromised by the Commission.

“When trial commenced, it will not even take a few days for the general public to know the real truth, which by the way, also points towards why people that have filed an election petition cannot wait for their turn in court but are proceeding with demonstrations seeking the resignation of the MEC Chairperson over alleged conduct that is the very subject matter of the trial,” said the lawyer.

So far, the lawyers have filed so many lever arch files of rebuttal evidence they are even pondering whether the court may not consider moving the trial to another more accommodative venue.

Asked on this issue, the lawyer said that their camp has mulled the issue but would rather leave it to the court itself to make a decision when trial starts.

MEC was recently given a 5-day extension for compiling sworn statements and a court order against officials and supporters of first petitioner UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and second petitioner Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, restraining them from interfering with their work.

The electoral commission argued that it needed more time to solicit information and submit disclosures because that would benefit all parties involved in the case.

The extra five days have made the court to shift the commencement date for the full hearing from July 29 to August 8 after MEC submits all the relevant documents to the court on 6 August.

On his part, lawyer Frank Mbeta, who is representing President Peter Mutharika (the first respondent in the case), has filed to the Constitutional Court to throw out the consolidated petitions of UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) challenging results of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections which favoured Mutharika, for lacking evidence of irregularities and wasting court time.

Mbeta argue that the Chilima and Chakwera have heavily relied on the use of the alteration fluid known as Tippex as a basis to nullify the election.

“The Petitioners have deliberately failed to adduce the source documents ( Forms 60C) which are the stream results in order to contradict the results sheets that were relied upon by MEC (form 60c) when announcing the results,” lawyer Mbeta argues for Mutharika.

“The Petitioners have miserably failed to tell the court the effect of the alterations on the votes polled by the candidates.

“The petitioners have also failed to tell the court the fact that alteration fluid used was only for reconciliation of the figures and not to change the votes of the candidates.”

The High Court consolidated the petitions into one case and referred the matter to Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda who subsequently certified it as a constitutional matter and assigned a five-judge panel to hear the case as a Constitutional Court.

The five-judge panel comprises Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu.

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maranditi Mpasha
maranditi Mpasha
1 year ago

Please reporter,, next time balance the news findings.. why didn’t you interview the petitioners lawyers as well??

Mbava
Mbava
1 year ago

An empty tin makes a lot of noise, anzanu ali duuuu

TOSH
1 year ago

nyumwitsa yu think silungwe and lawyer MODECAI MSISKA CAN GET AFRAID WITH THAT, THESE TWO LAWYES ARE NOT LAWYERS TO PLAY WITH

tizanka
tizanka
1 year ago

So that’s why these buggers want to demonstrate pa 6 eti? Awona game yagwa

Mbwiye
Mbwiye
1 year ago

Guys kodi a mcp and utm mukufuna kutenga boma through the back door? Ku press conference a mtambo ndi anzawo ayankhula kuti zopusa kodutsa ka ten ndiye inu mutukwana bwanji? Mastyle atha a hrdc basi kutukwana. Ana ayamba kulira ndi mkodzo wawo.

Ajofia
Ajofia
1 year ago

Let us wait and see, pajatu lawyer sasowa chonena or a rapist caught red handed amamuyimila trying to defend him before court of law that is not guity kkkk

Agenda Setting Theory
Agenda Setting Theory
1 year ago
Reply to  Ajofia

Even Albino killers have lawyers to defend them

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
1 year ago

In fact a DPP amakana atagwidwa pants down akupanga ma deal a foodration ndi PI. Like all career criminals, serial killers they always have answers, deny, deny and deny…however bizarre their answers may sound.

katayeni chitutu
katayeni chitutu
1 year ago

mtolankhani wa DPP

Fake Paramount
Fake Paramount
1 year ago

During WW II Hilter’s Army used propaganda to demoralise allied forces. The weapon used was to spread fake news that German soldiers were raping wives of allied troops. After the war it was discovered that such acts had not taken place. So this lawyer’s statements are just meant to demoralise petitioners. It will be revealed that he was an evangelist of fake news.

Inu
Inu
1 year ago

The good news is that the case will be tried in competent court – give your evidence in court and the other camp will argue their case. The judges shall make a final decision!!!

Tariq
Tariq
1 year ago

Mantha awa. Mugwa Zitsilu inu.

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