Lawyers for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the second respondent in the ongoing presidential election petition case in the Constitutional Court round off their cross examination of Mirriam Gwalidi, a key witness for UTM Party presidential candidate and first petitioner in the case Saulos Chilima in an effort to discredit her sworn statements.
Private practicing lawyer Tamando Chokotho, who took over from Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale on Tuesday, spent Wednesday morning asking Gwalidi to substitute whether indeed there were some blank log books or whether some ballot boxes were found to have been tampered with during their inspection at the MEC warehouse.
The questioning on Wednesday centered much on Thyolo West constituency where Gwalidi had earlier on indicated that there were three blank log books, in reference to Bright Kawanga’s sworn statement.
She, however, identified a log book which was partially filled in.
Gwalidi confirmed that during the inspection at MEC warehouse, they did not go through all ballot boxes and that no monitor has come out to complain of any irregularity.
On several occasions, Justice Dr. Redson Kapindu intervened observing that Chokotho is demanding the witness to establish the obvious and this is unnecessary and time wasting while Justice Ivy Kamanga directed the witness, who confirmed that she once worked for MEC as a photographer during the voters registration exercise, not to respond to some questions.
Lawyer Frank Farook Mbeta for the first respondent, President Peter Mutharika started cross examining the witness.
Meanwhile, MEC lawyers have indicated that they will cross-examine all 38 witnesses for Chilima, the first petitioner, as well as 16 witnesses for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera, who is the second petitioner
Chakwera and Chilima, who came second and third with about 35 percent and 20 percent of the presidential votes, respectively, are challenging the re-election of President Peter Mutharika who won the elections with 38 percent of the vote.