As the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court is set to start hearing a petition seeking to nullify presidential election results on July 29, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has failed to comply with the order on disclosure of information, including documents they used to declarer the presidential winner in the in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
MEC is the second respondent in a case which President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is the first respondent while the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima of UTM Party is the first petitioner with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera as second petitioner.
Chilima and Chakwera are challenging the presidential vote and seeking nullification.
Court documents which Nyasa Times has seen indicate that having been ordered on 27 June 2019, to disclose and produce the documents directed by the judges within 11 days, MEC has not complied with the said order by failing to produce the documents.
MEC according to the Court has failed to produce original presidential reaults sheets for all the 5002 polling centres (Form 66C) duly signed by poll officials and other agents of candidates and or political parties including those of the second petitioner.
The Jane Ansah led electoral commission has also failed to produce original presidential results tally sheets, list of polling centres and results per each polling centre constituency.
The court also ordered MEC to produce presidential tally sheets for all the 28 districts (Form 73C) but has also failed.
MEC has also failed to produce log books for 12 districts of Thyolo, Blantyre, Machinga, Phalombe, Mulanje, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mangochi, Lilongwe, Dedza, Nkhotakota and Rumphi.
The ourt ordered MEC to produce list of Data entry clerks but again they have failed to submit the list.
While MEC has not submitted the documents, lawyers representing President Mutharika complained to the court that Chilima has not complied with an order to file “paginated bundles” to their client by July 1 this year.
In a petition dated July 9 2019, private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta submits that Chilima’s legal team has not shared the documents they will rely on in court.
But lawyer George Mtchuka Mwale of Chilima’s legal team said they complied with the court order by filing all relevant documents.
Mbeta said he has received Chakwera’s paginated bundle.
On June 27, the court directed parties to the case to exchange or serve each other relevant documents, including responses, before July 29 when hearing of the substantive matter to the case is set to start.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda certified the case as a constitutional matter and assigned a five-judge panel comprising Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :