Tippex ‘greatly undermined’ Malawi elections — ConCourt: ‘Results sheets speaks for themselves’

A panel of five judges in Constitution Court reading its ruling following a presidential election petition case have said the correction fluid – known locally by the brand name Tipp-Ex – that the opposition claims was used to alter of results with a vote that gave President Peter Mutharika victory, the result sheets speaks for themselves that they suffered alterations and that no monitor was needed to testify in confirming this fact.

Chakwera with his deputy Sidik Mia as well as UTM president Saulos Chilima at court
Court users on judgement day
Friends of Court captured at the ConCourt-pic by Lisa Kadango (3)

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, who came second, and UTM Party’s leader Saulos Chilima, who finished third, went to court to argue that the election was not fair.

In court, their lawyers said Tipp-Ex had been used on some of the tallying forms sent in by polling stations. The changes were made after they had been signed by party agents, they argued.

The court said there is evidence of more than 200 presiding officers who have testified on Tipp-Ex and even Henzel Mukhondya the director of electoral services at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) told the court that the documents he presented were defaced.

Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika too told the court that the defaced documents were presented to Commissioners and they based their decisions on these defaced documents, the court finds.

However, the court said statements by UTM monitors Mirriam Gwalidi as well as MCP witnesses Anthony Bendulo and Richard Chapweteka – that monitors were denied copies of Form 66c – is hearsay and therefore inadmissible.

But the court finds that Gwalidi tendered 54 tally sheets that were tampered with using Tippex.

“According to questions the second respondent (MEC)  put to Ms Gwalidi in cross-examination, the second respondent was of the view that the tampering, according to the sample presented to the court, it was not enough evidence to conclude that the tampering was enough to affect results.

“In the Raila Odinga case [Kenya elections case], sampling was considered, and the court found that samples were enough evidence to give a clear picture of alterations made….The court, therefore, finds that there was wide-spread use of Tippex to alter results,” the court said in the ruling.

Jane Ansah, head of the electoral commission, is on record to have defended herself in local media against accusations that election tally sheets were doctored, she said: “Correctional fluid, if you check in the dictionary, corrects errors. Tipp-Ex can be used for positive and negative purposes and that is for the court to find out.”

The court noted that Ansah acknowledged the widespread of Tippex on May 22 2019.

“One would expect that the Chairperson would take a stand not to accept such altered tally sheets… The position of this court is that the widespread of Tippex greatly undermined the integrity of the elections so much that applying the qualitative approach, an argument by the second respondent that the valid vote count was not affected (which is a quantative argument) and that no monitors came forward to raise a complaint does not matter and this argument is thrown away,” the court said.

Petitioners in the case stated that in some cases polling officials sent in the wrong copy of the results sheet to the main tallying centre. They also found some mathematical errors in a small number of cases.

Though in each case there were not a huge number of errors, the lawyers said that the evidence pointed to a flawed process.

On BDO report, the court says MEC instructed auditors to approve manually altered result sheets.

The court said: “We find this to be a serious irregularity.”

Additionally, MEC conceded that it beamed result sheets on a screen before auditors verified the results.

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Mary
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Mary

Oh God Bless Malawi, Our Country.

MNENERI WA MALAWI
Guest
MNENERI WA MALAWI

I can see Muntharika resigning and more battles in DPP. GOD BLESS MALAWI

TripleX
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TripleX

Democracy ruled! The million dollar question though remains unanswered. Who provided the fraud fluid aka tippex? It’s not freely available in even all the major shops, so where did people in the villages get hold of it, if MEC is adamant that they did not provide it?

Nzika
Guest
Nzika

@ Basa, Komatu Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapenbe and MacDonald Sembereka atukwanidwa sizinaoneke, including harassment, petrol bombing of their residences. The prince of thieves branded them terrorists which was echoed by MBC, with the aim of blindfolding Malawians while he is the real terrorist. Amangofuna kuwazimitsa basi kuti chilungamo chisadziwike. Koma Mulungu alibe psete akafuna kumuyalutsa munthu kumuika poyera. You see now, Peter Mutharika and Jane Ansah have sunk so low and immersed in total shame. Thanks to the fearless trio, you have faught a good fight for the Malawi Nation. Dr Saulos Chilima and Dr Lazarus Chakwera for persevering and… Read more »

waMalu
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waMalu

DPP just came off the spoon,,,,nde zachina Chimulirenj Basie owner kwa T.A Ganya

Malawi belong to the citizens.
Guest

Power of electing a president is in the hands of the citizens not tippex.

Basa
Guest
Basa

Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence and Sembereka I salute you guyz. The battle is won and PLEASE organise something so that we see Jane Ansa down. Bravo Chakwera and Chilima. Cheers! That calls for a drink!

Gule Wankulu
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Gule Wankulu

This sure calls for a drink! But what sort of drink? Definately not a Castel. In the old days I woulda called for a Green but the current Green as brewed by Castel leaves a lot to be desired. It tastes like goat’s urine. Once a new govt ( repeat: A NEW GOVT ) takes over, Castel should be shown the door. Bring in Castle lager ( SAB Miller ) or Guinness. The French ( Castel ) are only good at concocting good wines – including brandy- but not brewing beers. Anybody for a good bubbly or a cognac?

Francisco Madinga
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Francisco Madinga

zonse mwanena ndagwilizana nazo makamaka pa bibidapo😂😂

Kandulu
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Kandulu

Sadly it is over for APM and Jane. Retire in peace.

Starrett81
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Starrett81

I concur with you.

Basa
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Basa

I concur with you kkkk

Hon. Nyaphapi One
Guest

I love fake news! But this looks real! Today.

Shyman one
Guest

We are Just praying for a Justice Judgement
Let Justice rule Malawi.. A small and poor then the fights have to stop because its time to start Working together again as one Nation ..
Injustice and corruptions will affect us in many ways ..
Kwatsalaku tizayamba kukutumulana tokhatokha..

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