The second petitioner in the historic elections petition case at the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera has withdrawn five more witnesses is remaining with five more witnesses.
Lead lawyer for Chakwera in the case, Modecai Msisha SC, said the withdraw of the other witness is “a stratetgy” to ensure the case is expedited as they are convinced that they would have proved the irregularities and illegalities of the presidential elections results.
“We have withdrawn some witnesses to ensure that we move quickly,” said Msisha.
He said the witnesses withdrawn were useful but “ I think at the end of the dat, if we do nit suceeed with the key ones that we are going ti call, it is unlikely that those who we decided not to call would lead to success.”
Meanwhile, MEC continue to cross-examine Chakwera’s key witness Peter Lackson Chimangeni, through Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale.
Chimangeni claimed there were some missing votes for some candidates but he failed to locate any candidate valid votes for any polling station that had been assailed or challenged.
He had produced to court a list of 215 polling station where he alleged there were making votes. Each one of the listed tally centre data had an error.
The same when he alleged that there were extra votes added to candidates at some polling stations. He failed to pin point any single polling station where any candidate vote count had been assailed or where any candidate had extra votes added to his count.
Chimangeni had earlier alleged some tally sheets had been forged on the basis of the order of signatures on tally sheets. However, during cross-examination with Kaphale, he conceded that where a form has no designated pre printed slots for monitor signatures and there are more than two people signing, it is possible the signature can appear in any order on the forms.
He also observed that the candidate votes on the forms that party monitors brought to him were the same as those MEC entered into the system.
His other allegation was that there were extra ballots at some polling stations in that the number of ballots issued were exceeded by the valid votes, null and void votes, cancelled and spoilt ballots and unused ballots.
Chimangeni said this affected 4419 votes.
When quizzed on how extra ballots could convert into votes when no candidate valid vote had been assailed , Chimangeni failed to come up with a plausible answer, the same applied to his allegation of missing ballots where it was claimed that the valid votes, unused ballots, cancelled ballots, null and void votes and valid votes were fewer than total ballots received.
He had alleged that this problem affected over 5,000 votes but failed to come up with a formula for converting ballots into votes and also could not pin point any polling station where a candidates valid vote count was discrepant or challenged.
Chimaneni allegation that there was low voter turn out in some centres and high voter turn out in others was challenged on the basis of data source and also that the issue was not pleaded in the main petition.
Cross examination of Chimangeni by the Attorney General continues on Wednesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :