MEC solidifies its Malawi poll case: ‘Tip Ex never affected results, no fake tally sheets’

In the ongoing landmark presidential elections case, malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika took time to solidify the position of the electoral body that use of correctional fluid, Tip-Ex, and reserve tally sheets did not affect the valid results for any candidate.

Alfandika;Use of Tip-Ex did not invalidate the results

This was despite the court refusing the MEC team to use the original results sheets to demonstrate the security features for demonstration purposes during the re-examination process.

Justice Dingiswayo Madise said it would be tantamount to ‘trial by ambush’ to allow MEC the original tally sheets which were supposed to be filed and pollster never did.

However, the court gave MEC a reprieve that they should bring to court the original tally sheets before submission to the lawyers on Friday.

Dismantling the case laid by the complainants that use of Tip-Ex amounted to an irregularity and that fake tally sheets were used in the presidential election cases in favour of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Alfandika mocked the petitioners that elections cases are built on figures and facts and not mere speculations.

This was in direct response to allegations that his evidence was just mere speculation.

“The statements I made were based on facts and figures and not opinion. In election dispute, any dispute has to be proved by facts and figures and not mere allegations.

“In the figures we had as MEC and in absence of contrary figures we were convinced that the results were a true reflection of the vote and will of the people,” he said.

Alfandika also told the court that MEC never received any complaint from any monitor that they were denied a copy of the results and no challenge was raised against the results at the polling centres.

Asked by lawyer Tamando Chokotho why MEC wrote the BDO Jordan auditors to accept results that had been altered with Tip-Ex, Alfandika reasserted the stance of the MEC that it was used for correcting errors on the balancing part of the tally sheet and no valid votes were affected.

“Use of Tip-Ex did not invalidate the results, it did not mean that the results could not be submitted to the Commission. The Commission is the only authority that should make final authority on results.

“For all the results sheets that were Tip-Exed there was very close and rigorous vetting to ensure whether the Tip-Ex was for correction or bad intentions. It involved verifying with the log books,” he explained.

Alfandika also added that auditors who were placed at the constituency tally centre were contacted to verify the figures and they all confirmed that the alterations were made on the reconciliation part and no valid vote was affected.

The MEC chief elections Officer also took time to explain the use of the reserve tally sheets which had been branded as fake by the petitioners in a quest to move the court to invalidate the results.

“Reserve sheets were printed by same printer and cannot be termed as fake. Regarding sheets used from other centres by crossing the name of the centre, that is admissible. A presiding officer can request from another centre a result sheet.

“For the first time we had customized results sheets, that is why a crossing had to be made. In the past you could not detect it.

“This principle applies to all other materials including ballot papers. All these does not mean fake, it’s an initiative to ensure continuity of voting process,” he explained.

The MEC CEO also explained that the bar codes on the original results sheets (not reserve) were used as identifiers and not as a security piece.

“On reserve sheets, only one bar code was used for all of them. Reserve sheets were not apportioned to one centre because it could not be known in advance which centre would use them. We put them at constituency tally centre,” he said

Alfandika also cleared the mist regarding the delay of gazetting of the elections results in August that it was due to the printer (Government Press) who could not manage to do so in time despite being given the job in good time.

He added that despite the delay there was no complaint received by the Commission from the petitioners who had raised the issue several time in court.

The smiling CEO, without sweating also told the court that unused, cancelled, soiled ballots and null and void votes are not used to determine results of an election debunking the theory that was advanced by MCP witnesses, Anthony Bendulo and Richard Chapweteka that these votes were played around with in favour of Peter Mutharika.

Regarding the transmission of results from the Constituency Tally Centre to the Main Tally Centre, Alfandika said the decision was made in consultation with stakeholders including the UTM and Malawi Congress Party.

“The Commission was always listening to the concerns of the political parties and one of them was that at the district level there was a bottleneck.

“A proposal was made to process election results at constituency level under the delegated authority of District Commissioner to the national tally centre to speed up the process of results transmission. The challenges included congestion at district, difficult to follow the tallying and very difficult for monitors t follow the results to the district level,” he said

The MEC boss explained that District Commissioners handled results especially for the presidential tally and submit the same to the main tally centre.

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Banda
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Banda

We just need change for sure it has to come no matter how but it will one day be different, mpaka pano civil workers we haven’t been paid but someone is busy flying around akakubwezankoniso ali inu ayi go home kwanu kuli mavuto

LGBT PROPER GANDA
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LGBT PROPER GANDA

JESUITS-JESUITS-JESUITS akazi makamaka muzifufuzako kuti MAJESUITS ndiati nanga ntchito zao paGLOBE ndizotani kapena amatani.Amenewa nchitozao ndizanseli,ma agent amdyelekezi.

LGBT PROPER GANDA
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LGBT PROPER GANDA

UN (Jesuits/ayuda ndi aloma)akakonza amakhala akonza nkumangozunguza anthu poonongetsa chumachadziko munjila zosianasiana.Okhala prezident amayenela kukhala KHANG’A waSATANIC

Lumbani
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Lumbani

If people divert the Truth from the bible and allow the parish or mission to be their guidance Rather than the bible ,what about elections.???? But no matter how tricky you can be the Truth always prevails.. My prayer is that God should give us pastors who fear God lay member who fears God and everyone who attend church service must fear God ….and then we shall not be cheating one another like this.

Kennedy
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Kennedy

Today is no mistakes were reported yesterday was that mistakes and complaint were made although we didn’t deal with them before anounsing results, is this man smoking the big one? What is that we’re going to beleive for everyday he contradict his own staments.

Jason Bailer
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Jason Bailer

In life when you realise that you’re fighting a losing battle, instead of being objective you choose to be subjective. The best practice is to attack Mr.Alfandika’s presentation and not concentrate on attacking him as a person. But that is not strange in a human being’s inner thought process whereby when you feel the grounds supporting your argument is crumbling you resort to a fist fight and think that will help in the attainment of the expected outcome. MCP/UTM zealots after realising their shortcomings and shortfalls, think by being militant, threatening, foul-mouthed and moving of goal-posts that that will confuse… Read more »

SAUNDERS
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SAUNDERS

This is talking sense, bravo! not what drunkards and so called analysists have been parroting to influence the judges

Mwananyanian
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Mwananyanian

@Jason Bailer:
One would sincerely be moved by your telling of some of the thinking regarding what makes a forged election.
Yes, Truth and Fact: there is no election without irregularities, anywhere. And the Judges know that very well.
But good luck with trying to convince MCP/UTM Ultras that it is the extent of the malfeasance that is always the issue. Simply put, too many thick skulls in that arena.
Or is it, for them, the obsession with getting to the Presidency, even by hook or crook?

Xxxxx
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Xxxxx

Petition based on thin ice. Lots of suspicion but little evidence. Alufandika wagayabe.

Toka
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Toka

The author is a DPP cadet….no wonder he/she is hiding the name.

charie
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charie

DPP moto kuti buuu 2024 APM wooo

zanunzanu
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zanunzanu

Charie wakondwatu adad ako pitala zayela mpaka 2024 heti malilo nkulilana my poor Malawi nkhawa yanga ili pa osauka chisaulire chuma cha boma chikulukitika ma Albion eish ziwavutilapo mdziko lawolawo adad ako amakwana

mahome
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MBUZI iyi