Parties delighted with ‘smooth trial’: Malawi election case logical conclusion nigh

About 59 days have gone since the constitutional court started hearing the evidence from a horde of witnesses, including information and communications technology experts, monitors, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) officials and party officials in the ongoing May 21 electoral case in Lilongwe, hearing of evidence has concluded with all parties saying they are pleased.

First petitioner Chilima (L) and ket witness for second petitioner Daud Suleman at court at the end of hearing evidence in Malawi election case

Days full of drama, excitement and tampers in the land mark case first of it’s kind in  Malawi to reach this  which others have described as a unifying factor between the two petitioners, UTM party president Dr Sailors Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Dr Lazarus Chakwera who dragged the electoral commission to court for failing to hold the elections according to the Constitution and the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA).

The two petitioners theory is that Malawi had presidential elections full of irregularities and fraud, which they feel was aimed at aiding the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika, who MEC announced won the elections.

This far, out of 750 witnesses who were supposed to be examined before a panel of five judges, only 15 made it into the witness dock, with the rest withdrawn along the way.

However, 714 sworn statements still form part of the evidence before the court because although the witnesses were withdrawn, their statements still stand in court, according to Judge Healy Potani heading a panel of judges who include Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu.

The final day of evidence hearing stunned many as bother UTM and MCP withdrew their cross examination of MEC last witness, ICT director Muhabi Chisi.

According Chilima’s lawyer Dr Chikosa Silungwe, the withdrawal came about because they felt that there was nothing damaging in Chisi’s evidence in chief worth querying.

“You don’t ask questions just because you have time to ask. We observed that the evidence in chief had nothing damaging to our case so we thought it wise not to waste our time cross examining the witness,” said Silungwe, whose reasoning was echoed by MCP lawyer Mordecai Msisha.

Silungwe said he was pleased the matter is getting to reach its logical conclusion.

“The court has done its best that the matter is concluded as quickly as possible: The  hearing has gone quite smoothly and I dare say quiet speedily,” Silungwe said.

After all is said and done, all the parties said they are comfortable with the way the case has been handled and feel they have driven the message home.

President Mutharika lawyer Frank Mbeta said they have all the expectation that the case will be thrown out.

“It was a tough one with voluminous documents to work on and respond to, but we feel that we have managed to prove our theory to the court,” he said.

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale who is representing MEC said they are optimistic with their performance.

“We have done our part and we will continue doing the same as we go into the next phase of submissions. The trial went on well and we are of the view that the court will according to what we have brought before it,” he said.

Silungwe said going by the court proceedings, there are enough reasons for the court to nullify the elections.

“It’s a constitutional mandate that MEC should manage the elections. The manager of the elections is always MEC and nobody else. MEC failed to manage the elections of two fronts which are irregularities and fraud. We have shown how through these irregularities and fraud about one million votes were affected,”  he said.

On his part, Msisha said there was no reason for MEC to leave the management of the elections to ordinary people, which had a lot of irregularities.

Justice Potani told the the court that their determination will be solely based on the evidence before the court, properly presented before is and applicable by laws.

“We will not even be taken by public opinion but by the laws of the country in line with with practice and procedures,” he said.

He advised the parties that they should take into consideration that the case came by way of submissions which graduated into a constitutional referral and their submissions should dwell on that.

The order of submissions is that on December 10, the petitioners must file the court and serve a the parties written submissions both in hard and soft copies and the respondent’s must file the court and serve all the parties written submissions both in soft and hard copies.

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Amadeus
9 months ago

To us the wise people, Justice Potani has given a clear as to which side the case will go. He has has said in plain language that the case is constitutional in nature. We may not have heard all the arguments from the two sides, but mark my words, the judges were weighing each argument against constitutionality. The side that made much reference in its arguments to constitutionality will carry the day. To anybody who has a brain between his ears, it’s easy to distinguish “girls” from “boys” in this case 😁😁😁….

Amadeus
9 months ago
Reply to  Amadeus

a clear hint**

Namoni
Namoni
9 months ago

Chilima and Daud ana amuna

Peter T
Peter T
9 months ago

The trueth is: there is no evidence for Mec and DPP been showed in this case! Well let’s all for Judgement day.

chataika
chataika
9 months ago

Chisi has convinced all the petitioners that MEC system was well managed and thats why they failed to find anything to accuse him. Remember, in the first place they were preventing him not to make a simulation why? Because they knew the court will get exactly how the system worked during the management of the results. So thank you UTM, MCP kuti mwamvetsa how the system worked and not speculations u were making. Chisi had said many tried to hack the system but failed. So UTM and MCP have just come into the open that they were the ones who… Read more »

Poche
Poche
9 months ago
Reply to  chataika

Mcp and utm I think ndiinu mbuzi za anthu.. Chilima ndi chakwera ngati amafunadi kuthandiza amalawi bwezi atagwirizana b4 the elections,,, Koma anapanga dyera aliyese kufuna udindo(dyera)… Lero aonongetsa zinthu zambiri mdzikomuno kuphatikizaso imfa Zach anthu ena.. My analysis on presidential case,,the irregularities were indeed there but it’s not up to the extent of having a rerun… An election without irregularities its the one which can be said to be a fraud one… Whether someone likes it or not,,,,most of mcp and utm party leaders Will be arrested… Some of hrdc members will also be arrested for inciting violence… Ma… Read more »

ansaaaa
ansaaaa
9 months ago
Reply to  Poche

U know nothing broh just wait the judgement ndiyomwe itiuze zoona osamangotumbwa zopusa apa.

Flames
9 months ago
Reply to  Poche

You can’t talk about God when you are aware of the dark dealings of your party. By the way the courts will not say irregularities were not enough to force a re-run.All they will say is that the irregularities were against the laid up procedures supported by the law.Infact as analogy,killing one person in 1000 cohort,does not make you free considering the percent alone but based on the laws even one person out of 1000 is enough for you to be jailed

KWENDA
9 months ago
Reply to  Poche

Brother, This is democratic country and need to change to serve this country not to stole and kill our albinism relatives. I think zizinakuonekere.

Ada
Ada
9 months ago

Do not forget the issues that were also tackled by Munkhondia and Alfandika which was a final straw that broke the DPP back

Mboba
Mboba
9 months ago

Joka wafera mmanja

Namoyo
Namoyo
9 months ago
Reply to  Mboba

You can say that again

Patriot
Patriot
9 months ago

A missed opportunity. Today would have been the best day for lawyers from both sides as well s Chilima/Chakwera on one side and MEac team on another to hug each other, after the case hearing, just for the sake of unifying Malawians. Anyway, time alone will tell

Francisco Madinga
Francisco Madinga
9 months ago
Reply to  Patriot

Abwana si sewero’tu Iyi….serious business!

Namoni
Namoni
9 months ago
Reply to  Patriot

Nawenso Pali makobili ma hug achani iyi ndi nkhondo yolimbilana chithumba Cha capital Hill osati phada wa ma hug yo ayi

Zingaiwalike
9 months ago

Ma lawyers a mcp ndi Utm sanafune kumufunsa mafuso muhabi chisi chifukwaChakuti umboni omwe wabweretsa chisi ndi wa aphungu pamene nkhani yomwe ili mu khoti ndiya presidential election and simulation yomwe wapanga muhabi chisi ndiya phungu waku Lilongwe mapuyu mmalo mwa pulezidenti

Choka
Choka
9 months ago
Reply to  Zingaiwalike

Kuganiza kwa mwanapiyetu uku

Mr E
Mr E
9 months ago

Bambo muhabi chisi ndinu chisendang’ona. Inu mwangolowa padziwe, a sulemani nthawi yomweyo kuyandama. Technical knockout

Mavuto
Mavuto
9 months ago

Coccaine and drug dealers, get them soft, get them soft

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