Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) director of ICT, Muhabi Chisi came out of the cocoon on Thursday to reveal that during the results management time of May 21 tripartite elections, there were many attempts to hack into the MEC results management system (RMS) but they all failed.
Chisi was making a simulation of the results management process in the Constitution Court as MEC’s third and last witness in the presidential elections case which is in day 58 so far.
He also took the time to unmask the ghost user who was touted to have been entering fraudulent results into the system.
“The system is secure and no one can hack into it. During elections there were many attempts from all over the world to hack into the system but they failed,” he explained.
Immediately, there was an objection from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawyers who argued that Chisi was giving new evidence which was not the subject of the simulation.
This was sustained and the MEC IT Director moved on to present other issues.
In his presentation, Chisi started by explaining what a result management system is and how the biometric kits were configured to ensure that they cannot be used in a different constituency.
Chisi also explained that the RMS used a blind double entry system whereby there were two data entry clerks who could enter same data and the system could accept the data when the two entries were the same.
He also explained that the RMS was developed in-house through a consultative approach with stakeholders including directors of elections in political parties and their ICT experts with from Development Partners.
“Prior to implementation we ran two dry tests and there was full participation of all stakeholders including parties, media and international observers,” he said.
In his simulation, the MEC ICT Director used Lilongwe South Constituency, which is currently vacant to demonstrate how the RMS worked because they were working on a live data base which was used for the May 21 elections and the only space available was for Lilongwe South.
Step-by-step Chisi countered presentations by MCP witness, Daudi Suleman who introduced to the concept of ghost user who was adding fraudulent results into the RMS.
Chisi told the court that once results are received into the system, they could not be corrected and any change or overwriting if done, the system could issue a trigger.
Then Chisi unmasked the ghost user by running a query that approved batch results in the system after the Commission approval.
“Approving one result at a time could take time. There was no reason to hold on the results from the public after the Commission had approved them, so we used a query to update the status of the results in the system that were all approved by the Commission,” he explained.
Chisi showed the five judge panel, from the result management system, that all results updated as batch did not have user mentioned. This has been one of the basis of the evidence of Daud Suleman – witness for second petitioner MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera – that since the user could not be known then he was a ghost.
MCP lawyers had also objected for the MEC team to use a flash disk just to copy queries for the demonstration in fear that the flash disk might contain malicious codes that can affect the system.
This was sustained and the MEC team had to type the codes direct into the computer.
Muhabi explained that there was no link or connection between the RMS and the MEC website where all the polling stations results were posted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :