Mutharika’s key witness Ben Phiri contradicts own statement on irregularities in Malawi election case

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s lawyer Mordecai Msisha on Monday morning dug holes into a key witness to President Peter Mutharika, who is first respondent in the presidential election case,  Ben Phiri’s testimony, as he commenced his cross-examination.

Ben Phiri: My Lady, My Lords tippex was used on tally sheets

Msisha started his cross-examination by inquiring if Phiri discussed anything to do on various irregularities that occurred during the tallying of the votes in the May 21 elections and if the witness and the first respondent had any interaction on the independent auditors report.

Phiri, who was Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of election during May 21 polls , told the panel of five judges hearing the case that he discussed with Mutharika on the irregularities but did not discuss about the auditors report.

Although he indicated that he talked with President Mutharika on the use of reserve tally sheets, he said he did not tell him about security features on the said tally sheets.

On the use of  white correctional fluid tippex, Phiri said he understood that it was used to correct mistakes by presiding officers which were committed because they could not understand some terminologies on the tally sheets.

“In relation to use of tippex, did you inform [President Mutharika] that tally sheets had tippex on them,” asked Msisha to which Phiri answer was positive.

Phiri, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, told the court he told Mutharika that there was misunderstanding of various terminology by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) presiding officers hence mistakes were made and needed to be corrected with tippex mainly in the reconciliation part.

“Did you discuss with him [President Mutharika] where this tippex came from?” Msisha asked

“No,” Phiri answered.

However, he could not say that it was the best way of correcting mistakes as the electoral bdy did not officially communicate to parties on how these mistakes would be corrected.

In his sworn statement, Phiri indicated that all duplicate results sheet used were dully signed by all parties monitors, a point which was contradicted during cross examination.

Msisha shown Phiri some duplicate results sheets which were used during the elections before asking the witness to confirm if all monitors for elections signed the documents,which he responded with a negative.

“Do you  maintain that all monitors signed duplicate results sheets that were used?” asked Msisha.

“No with an explaination,” he answered.

During cross-examination by first petitioner Saulos Chilima’s lawyer, Chikosa Silungwe,

Phiri acknowledged that the May 21 elections were marred by challenges that included officers filling in inappropriate boxes of the tally sheets because of failure to understand some terminologies.

He also admitted use of Tippex, duplicate forms and alterations of results on tally sheets by some polling staff.

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Vinjero
Guest

Apa nkhani yatha! Aliyense atha kugamula nkhaniyi

Jumbrado
Guest
Jumbrado

This is not old Malawi it’s new Malawi…..paladafunda padajewetsa galu

Linda King
Guest

Inu ma judge mkuzimvera nokha m’mene akuyankhira pumbwa wa DPP yo.

Ziwoni
Guest
Ziwoni

It shows that Malawi has a lot of lawyers, everyone is giving different commentary on the same statement , the lawyers in colours

Raymond
Guest
Raymond

The Cadets are just bringing dreams in this line of comments! I do not think DPP will get anything here.

Chizamusoka
Guest
Chizamusoka

The judicial review is not about who rigged the elections. It is about the constitutionality of the elections. The court will have to determine if the use of tippex, the ghost user in RMS, the failure for party monitors to sign for tally sheets, use of fake tally sheets, falsifying of figures was constitutional.

Fake Petros
Guest
Fake Petros

You can say that again!!!
And there’s already beyond reasonable doubt that such transgressions were rampant, widespread (countrywide) and consistent..

Da Rookie who keeps it real
Guest

that really settles it. I like that

Thyolo Thava Boy
Guest

That`s the fact Chizamusoka. You can say that again cadet amve

Mwinithako
Guest
Mwinithako

Modecai anali kale kkkk not this time around wakuchepela kabhaa.After all he himself told the court that the case will end in 2025 kkkkk

Mlomwe
Guest

He never said the case will end in 2025! No! But he complained that at the pace the case was moving it may end in 2025. These are two different statements altogether

Iantana
Guest
Iantana

Osamaiwala ena chizungu samamva ngaku Jerusalem paja kkkk

Mzime
Guest
Mzime

I think some people are really useless n u wonder how they manage their families!!! It’s a shame that people make comments without regard to substance….can’t further argue with bulutu

Local Lawyer
Guest
Local Lawyer

The problem with this case is that everyone is giving his views depending on party colors not facts . Wait for the final judgement not stories you are writing here

Dziwani
Guest
Dziwani

That’s it

Kayamba ndiko Chapita
Guest

So shameful to Kaphale and Mbeta with their pointless objections.

Xxxxx
Guest
Xxxxx

Nothing new. Maybe the petitioners ought to have hired independent lawyers to represent them and not their own supporters who happen to be lawyers. They should be very afraid of re-examination.

APOSTLE PAUL
Guest

SIMPLY PUT THE THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE PETITIONERS HAVE AN UPPER HAND.THEIR QUESTIONING IS WITHIN LEGAL ACCEPTABLE FRAME WORK AND THUS SOLICITING FAIR,CREDIBLE ANSWERS FROM PHIRI. WA KU JERUSALEM COLLEGE.

EVEN MA JUDGE AKUCHITA KUMVA KUKOMA PA MAFUNSIDWE A LAWYER WANTHU MSISKA. MBAVA KAPHALE NDI NZAKE MBETA KUFUNSA KWAO KWAU CROOK ATI KUZEMBETSA JUSTICE. MUNYA AGALU INU.

NDE BEN WAGULITSA GAME APA TU

Jenala
Guest
Jenala

Inunso MCP yinakuphani bwanji?

papapa
Guest

dpp killed you…..your eyes are blinded

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