Daud Suleman, the key witness in the historic presidential elections petitions case, remains in the witness box for a friendly re-examination by second petitioner Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s lead lawyer Mordecai Msiska in the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe.
This follows a gruelling cross-examination by lawyers representing first respondent President Peter Mutharika and second respondent, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), who took turns in their attempt to discredit Suleman claims, especially the allegation that the May 21 presidential election was rigged in favour of Mutharika through results management as unknown users he dubbed “ghosts” were logging in to upload results.
Suleman, who supported Chakwera’s petition to have the results nullified and an order for a rerun, faced a number of lawyers in heated cross-examination, including Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale and Tamando Chokotho for MEC; and Frank Mbeta for Mutharika.
Mbeta spent most of his final cross examination time trying to discredit Suleman’s claim that some data in the computer system trigger was deleted to avoid them detect activities which were taking place by users’ of electoral body’s computers.
In his demonstration, Suleman told the court that 1325 results were deleted in the system trigger which in the end resulted into the deletion of the audit trail.
However, through disagreements between the two rose when Mbeta told Suleman to show them how the deletion shows in the system saver by asking MEC team to click on one of the triggers and it was found that indeed trigger data were deleted to avoid tracking down the deleted data as it was disabled deliberately.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Mbeta said he feels like they have managed to show how Suleman’s findings were wrong, used wrong table and wrong audits trails.
“For example, he told the court that 1325 results we were deleted in the system but we have managed to go into the database and show that they were intact. We have also showed, through him that he computerized each and every electoral process yet there were some instances where they had to be done manually like use of tally sheets that were printed,” he said.
Mbeta further said they also managed to show the court that Suleman lied that the audit trails were deleted.
“What we know is that he was not able to find the audit trails and those who approved them. This inability to operate the system that’s what led him to miss the audit trail and in the process he missed to find those who approved the same,” he said.
Lawyer Msisha will continue Thursday with the friendly re-examination.
Msisha hinted that they may finish re-examining Suleman Thursday, and this jerked chair of the five-judge panel, Healey Potani, to advise that the witness for Mutharika, who happens to be Ben Malunga Phiri and Bob Chimkango, should be set to take to the witness stand.
In the case, Chakwera alongside first petitioner and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima are seeking nullification of presidential election results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections over alleged irregularities in the results management system. The petitioners are also seeking an order for a rerun.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :