MEC to parade 600 witnesses in Malawi election case


The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has 600 witnesses who are expected to be cross-examined in the election case.

Lawyer Khumbo Soko, who is representing UTM leader Saulos Chilima in the case, said 600 MEC witnesses, 40 from UTM and about 25 from Malawi Congress Party will be interrogated during the case.

He expressed concern that the number of witnesses could delay the case.

“I think there is an appreciation and understanding, at least on our part, that there is a great deal of anxiety and that people want this process done and resolved as soon as possible so that the country can either way move on,” he said.

On Friday, the case resumed with an application from Chilima’s lawyers for the court to limit time for cross examination and for translation of proceedings to be stopped.

In its ruling delivered in the afternoon, the court said time limit for cross-examination will be determined. On translations, the court said voters who do not understand English have a right to follow proceedings.

Most of the day’s proceedings involved the cross-examination of Chilima by Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale who is representing MEC.

During the cross-examination, Kaphale asked Chilima about monitors at polling centres, irregularities in the polls and tampering with result sheets.

Kaphale later told Chilima to bring evidence on Monday concerning the number of monitors who have complained of being intimidated, number and percentage of poling staff bribed and number of monitors who witnessed polling staff influencing voting.

In an interview with reporters, Kaphale said that he has asked Chilima to bring the evidence so that everything should be set.

Chilima’s lawyer Soko said the demand for evidence is part of the case.

The UTM leader and Malawi Congress Party President Lazarus Chakwera are challenging the outcome of the May 21 in which President Peter Mutharika was declared winner.  Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) are respondents.