UTM Party national deputy director of elections, Bright Kawaka, is in thewitness box as the fourth witness for immediate past vice president Saulos Chilima, the first petitioner in the historic elections petitions case.
Kawaka, atrained mechanical engineer, told the court during the first part of cross examination by Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale that he was part of the team that accompanied Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) officials to inspect electoral materials [well after the May 21 2019 elections were announced] to dind evidence to support his sowrn statements.
Kaphale asked Kawaka on allegegations in his sworn statements that UTM Party montors faced intimidation [as electoral process was underway]. Kawas said he did not find any evidence to that effect in the log books during the inspections.
Kawaka also said he was part of the team of monitors that accompanied MEC officials and flew to Dubai to oversee printing of tally sheets, ballot papers and other polling stationary.
He said the forms were printed in one format and “you could not compare original and dulicate, we we had a meeting chaired but by the MEC chair [Jane Ansah] in Dubai.”
The UTM witness also told the court that the issue of duplicate tally sheets was started by political party monitors particularly Richard Chapweteka of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) who suggested that the 19 copies behind the original tally sheet should have a duplicate water mark.
“This was the result sheet being in one format,” he said.
Kawaka further told the court that if the original was messed up, the presiding officer would rely on the next bunch of duplicates whose top copy would be filled up manually and the rest of the copies would be self carbonated.
In that case the top duplicate copy would become an original in as far as it contained correct information of the valid votes polled and that MEC was open to the contrary views.
This puts to rest Chilima and second petitioner MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera’s arguments that use of originals affected the results of the presidential elections In favour of President Peter Mutharika and was therefore an irregularity.
Furthermore when quizzed by Frank Mbeta, Mutharika’s lawyer, Kawaka admitted that there was no prescribed form for the tally sheets. What mattered was the contents of the information to be provided on the forms. This is why MEC accommodated changes made by the monitors.
The case continuesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :