The legal team of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) would be making an application in the ongoing constitutional case , where MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM president Saulos Chilima are challenging results of the May 21 2019 presidential election, that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should comply with Constitutional Court order to submit an electoral audit report.
.The electoral body has failed to submit the audit report within July, as ordered by the court on June 27 2019 which required MEC to submit the report within 11 days—meaning this should have been done at least by July 12 2019.
UNDP hired international auditors to assist in the validation of the tally sheets in May elections. However, the Tipp-Exed tally sheets slipped through the hands of these ‘certified’ international auditors.
MEC could not question this anomaly on the back of the blind trust and confidence it had in UNDP—that hired the auditors.
The electoral body’s lawyer David Matumbika Banda said the audit has always been in the custody of the UNDP-Malawi, and it was on this basis that the court ordered MEC to ask UNDP in writing to furnish such information to the court.
Titus Mvalo, a member of the MCP legal team said the court told MEC to ask UNDP in writing to release that audit report to them for submission to court.
“And the court further advised that should they have any problems that UNDP is not releasing the report, it should inform the court. But as we gather, there is nothing so far,” he said.
Mvalo said the MCP legal team was considering filing an application to ensure they get the audit report at any cost.
The court, which granted MEC a five-day relief to conclude collection of sworn affidavits before trial starts on August 8 in this case where petitioners want presidential election results nullified, observed that the electoral body brought no evidence on whether or not it had contacted the UNDP-Malawi to access the report.
MEC , the court concluded, failed to obey its order for disclosure of the audit report.
President Peter Mutharika’s victory with a narrow margin of 3 percent of the votes cast over his closest opponent has been a subject of ridicule, suspicion and dispute. Only 38.57 percent of the people voted for Mutharia against Lazarus Chakwera’s 35.4 percent and 20 percent for UTM’s Saulos Chilima.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :